How to Define Your Organizational Strategy: Step-by-Step Process
An organizational strategy structure and process is essential if you want to keep your team focused, grow exponentially and keep clients happy.
Defined strategies streamline efforts and interests regarding investments, prioritization and performance across stakeholders. You want to make sure your business is sending a clear signal and value proposition both internally and externally.
Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it's about deliberately choosing to be different. - Michael Porter, esteemed Harvard Business School professor
A strong organizational strategy definition ensures everyone is on the same page. This way your goals and objectives clearly connect to your mission and vision while leveraging your core competencies.
This article walks you through the types of organizational strategy and everything you need to know if you want to define your organizational strategy.
Definition organizational strategy
What is organizational strategy? An organizational strategy outlines the long-term goals, objectives, and structure of an organization. The strategy highlights how the organization plans to achieve its mission, leverage core competencies, and position itself in an ever-changing competitive landscape.
Effective organizational strategies help guide decision-making, prioritize tasks, and align the efforts of team members across the organization.
An effective strategy is key to improve productivity in an organization, as everyone knows what they're working towards. When configured correctly, it sets your business up for success to keep achieving company goals and objectives.
Key components of the strategy for an organization typically include:
- Vision and mission
- Market and competitive analysis
- Organizational structure and culture
- Core competencies
- Goals and objectives
- Monitoring and evaluation
To develop and implement an organizational strategy, you should understand both the internal and external forces that apply to your business. This typically involves setting a vision, conducting market and internal analyses, and defining a plan for execution.
Set up your organizational strategy through a hands-on template that highlights everything that should be considered. Make sure to follow the steps in the order given, as they built upon each other.
What is the vision and mission of your organization?
The vision and mission represent an organization's purpose, direction, and aspirations. These statements serve as guideposts for decision-making and help to align the efforts of all stakeholders.
These statements are a great first step in defining your organizational strategy as they highlight the higher purpose of your business. Once they’re defined, you can break down the different components that will help you achieve the vision and mission.
Here’s what you should be looking for to define your vision and mission:
- Describes the organization's desired future state or long-term impact.
- Is aspirational, ambitious, and inspiring, painting a vivid picture of what success looks like.
- Provides a sense of direction and motivation for stakeholders.
- Typically remains constant over time, but may be revisited as the organization evolves or external conditions change.
Example of a vision statement: A world where everyone has access to clean and affordable energy.
- Outlines the organization's core purpose and how it will achieve its vision.
- Specifies the primary activities, target audience, and unique value proposition.
- Is actionable and focused on the organization's day-to-day work.
- May evolve over time as the organization adapts to new challenges and opportunities.
Example of a mission statement: To provide innovative, clean energy solutions that empower communities and protect the environment.
In summary, the vision of a company paints a picture of the desired future, while a mission statement defines the path and actions the organization will take to achieve that future. Both play their own role in guiding an organization's strategy, culture, and decision-making.
Ready to create your very own vision and mission? The organizational strategy template includes a 9-step process to create and implement a strong vision and mission.
Conducting market & competitive analysis
Conducting a market and competitive analysis is a crucial step in developing a strategy for your organization. It helps you understand your target market, industry trends, and the competitive landscape. This way you can more effectively position your business and set realistic goals.
Nevertheless, the process of conducting market research and competitive analysis can feel daunting at first. What frameworks and metrics are most relevant to your organization? What steps should you prioritize?
To streamline the process, we included a step-by-step task management workflow in the template. This way you can break down the steps within the market and competitive analysis of your industry.
- Define your market
- Analyze market trends
- Study your competition
- Analyze your target customers
- Assess market opportunities and threats
Individual tasks in the template include further resources and checklists to fully define the organizational strategy. This way you can more effectively break down the different activities that have to be completed to understand the external forces around your business.
Conduct your own market and competitive analysis. The organizational strategy template includes a 5-step process to develop a market and competitive analysis.
Defining Your Organizational Structure and Culture
Your organizational structure and culture are essential components of the business. They influence how the company operates, strategies for improving organizational communication, and decision making.
Understanding these aspects creates a more efficient, collaborative, and successful environment for your team. Let’s start with some high level definitions:
- Organizational Structure: Organizational structure refers to the way a company arranges its people, roles, and responsibilities to achieve its goals. There are several types of organizational structures, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
- Organizational Culture: the shared values, beliefs, norms, and practices that shape the behavior of individuals within a company. It influences how employees interact with one another and your organizational communication strategies.
Creating a cohesive organizational structure and culture requires a deep understanding of your company's goals, values, and desired ways of working. If you want your team to work effectively and efficiently then clearly defining structure and culture is crucial.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast. - Peter Drucker
The template includes two dedicated tasks that offer a step-by-step process to define both your structure and culture within your organizational strategy.
Regularly revisiting and adjusting these elements as your business grows and evolves will help you maintain a healthy, adaptive organization that supports long-term success.
What are the core competencies of your business?
Core competencies are the unique combination of capabilities, resources, and skills that give your business a competitive advantage. They are the strengths that enable differentiation from competitors and create unique value for customers.
These attributes can stem from various aspects, such as technology, innovation, processes, or organizational culture.
In order to be considered a core competency, the advantage should check the following boxes:
- Value creation: superior products, services, or solutions that uniquely meet needs and preferences of the customer.
- Differentiation: the characteristic or offering should set your company apart from competitors and provide a unique selling proposition.
- Hard to imitate: core competencies must be difficult for competitors to replicate, either because they involve proprietary knowledge, technology, or processes, or because they are deeply rooted in the organization's culture and history.
- Flexibility: the competency should be adaptable and can be leveraged across multiple products, services, or markets. This enables a business to innovate, expand, and respond to changing market conditions.
- Sustainability: core competencies should be sustainable over the long term, providing a stable foundation for a company's growth and success.
By focusing on these areas, a business can allocate its resources efficiently, develop a competitive advantage, and create value for customers and stakeholders.
Identifying and nurturing core competencies is an essential aspect of your organizational strategy. Apply our 8-step process to start defining the core competencies of your business.
Defining your organization’s goals and objectives in the strategy
Goals and objectives are the most actionable and ever-changing elements in your organizational strategy. They serve as milestones and targets that guide decision-making, performance evaluation, and resource allocation.
Goals and objectives are the last step in your strategy. Take all the information you previously gathered and define the short-to-medium term accomplishments you want to focus on.
The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score. - Bill Copeland
Consider your mission and vision, market and competitive analysis and internal forces when setting new goals and objectives.
Understanding the differences between a goal and objective and how they complement each other is crucial in creating an effective strategy for your organization. Here are some key things to consider:
- Goals are broad, high-level statements that describe the desired outcomes or achievements of an organization or team.
- They are typically long-term, focusing on the overall direction and purpose of the organization.
- Goals help provide a sense of direction and offer a framework for setting more specific, actionable objectives.
- Objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) targets that support the accomplishment of goals.
- They break down the broader goals into actionable steps, providing clear guidance on what needs to be accomplished, by when, and to what extent.
- Objectives help keep teams focused and accountable, as they can be used to track progress and evaluate performance.
Creating goals and objectives for your organizational strategy requires multiple steps. Our dedicated template includes examples and a step-by-step workflow.
Monitoring and evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of an organizational strategy are essential processes that help ensure that a company's strategic plans are on track to meet their objectives.
M&E help identify areas for improvement, assess the effectiveness of strategies, and inform data-driven decision-making. Set recurring timelines for the different activities within your organization strategy.
What gets measured gets managed. - Peter Drucker.
Goals and objectives should be refreshed most frequently, adapting them to the needs and current priorities of the business. Other activities might only be relevant once a year, three years or even longer term. Nevertheless, setting a due date for redoing the activity guarantees nothing fall through the cracks.
You can easily do this in the project template for creating an organizational strategy by adding a new due date after finishing the task.
Start building your organization strategy today: free template
In conclusion, developing a robust organizational strategy is crucial for achieving company goals and objectives and ensuring long-term success. Remember, the key to a thriving organization lies in its ability to adapt and evolve, and our template is designed to help you achieve just that.
Invite other team members to the project, leverage task management, notes, topics and chat and connect cloud files to your project space. You can also start a meeting with Zoom or Google Meet without leaving the template.
Now that you know how to define organizational strategies and all the elements in in you can Get started with free organizational strategy template