ESTA uses a collaborative process to guide the development of a strategic framework which includes five distinct activities. Our approach teaches strategic thinking at the same time that we coach a leadership team towards a new strategic future.
Step 1: Context
Strategy development should always be grounded in evidence-based data and trends that the organization will face in the short, medium and long term. We help clients develop a research agenda and then divide the research work up, coaching the client on self driven research, and contributing new data ourselves where there are gaps. The Strategic Workshop provides participants with an opportunity to discuss and debate external trends at the global, national and institutional levels and internal trends within the organization itself. This process generates a list of issues which the organization is likely to face in the future, and which form the basis of the development of strategies in Step 3.
Step 2: Purpose
The vision and mission statements provide the framework within which the organisation will operate over the next five years. A vision is comprehensive and describes how the organization will look and feel in five years. A mission statement describes what the organization does and why. We find that organizations can easily define What they do, but there is often lack of unity amongst the leadership team over Why they do it. We lead the team to a unified definition of Vision and Mission. These statements lay the foundation for the future success of the organization.
Step 3: Strategy
The strategy of an organization is its response to the issues identified in Step 2 filtered through the lens of the Vision and Mission articulated in Step 1. Strategy is the approach that the organisation will take to running its business over the next three to five years. While the mission answers what and why, the strategy describes how the organisation will approach its business.
Step 4: Results
Truly successful organizations do not stop the strategy process after the development of a vision, mission and strategies. The critical next step is a clear articulation of expected results so that leaders can measure the success, or failure, of the organization in working toward its vision and carrying out its mission. Each strategy must be developed to include a variety of indicators that will report on progress.
Step 5: Action Plans
In order to implement the strategy, a significant amount of effort is needed to design action plans that identify specific initiatives to be taken by the organization for the coming months and years. We coach teams to ensure the concepts captured in the strategies are translated into tangible activities and personal behaviours in the workplace. Action plans are usually developed for a three year horizon, and include specific actions, resource requirements, and expected outcomes.