Playing To Win - From Winning Aspiration To Results - A Proven Strategic Planning Process

Annual strategic planning and business planning plays a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of a company’s growth. Yet they are not easy processes and they can also be time consuming.

These essential management competencies need to be present in leadership teams as they are what enables you to serve your customers better than competitors, reward and develop staff, and make a profit.

Written by | Co-Founder of ZOKRI

The Best & Easiest Way To Create A Strategic Plan & Execute It

Over the last 6 years we’ve helped thousands of companies use the OKR goal setting framework. 

What often stopped them using the framework well was their lack of strategic planning. They did not have a strategy they could articulate that could guide their goal setting and execution.

This strategic planning process and facilitation toolkit that was created initially to be used by our own strategy and OKR consultants. 

Over many years the toolkit became a really comprehensive collection of business planning tools that worked brilliantly.

So what you can get today to support your strategic planning process was born.


Force Multipliers

Download a full preview of Force Multipliers, written by ZOKRI co-founder Matt Roberts.

Force Multipliers takes you through a revolutionary Business Operating System (BOS) to overcome growth plateaus and supercharge scaling efforts. A blend of practical strategies and real-world insights designed to streamline operations and enhance strategic agility.

From Winning Aspiration To Results In 6 Simple Strategic Planning Process Steps 

If you do not have the strategic planning processes, planning concepts, or plan creation know-how in your teams, then you should consider the workshop toolkit that we have created. This has the steps for creating a strategic plan which are clear and easy to follow.

After using the toolkit, you essentially come out the other end with a clear mission, vision and winning aspiration that aligns with a clearly articulated strategy and aligned goals using the OKR goal framework.

You will also learn the weekly execution processes that keeps teams focused, engaged and accountable. The result of that will obviously be a boost to the KPIs your company cares most about.

The annual strategic planning process we follow was inspired by Roger Martin and then evolved based on our own experiences, getting more specific in areas like goal setting and management systems. It answers 6 questions:

  1. What is our winning aspiration?
  2. Where can we play and win?
  3. What do we know? – data, idea and option gathering
  4. What is our winning strategy? – compelling narratives and KPI scorecards
  5. Which goals do we need to commit to NEXT to execute this strategy?
  6. What management systems are required to succeed?

Across the 6 steps you will be using best-practice business strategy frameworks and concepts. These include:

  • Winning Aspiration Statement
  • Value Propositions
  • Strategic Perspectives, Narratives and KPI Scorecards
  • Objectives and Key Results to set strategically aligned goals
  • Team Values and Guiding Principles
  • Agile Execution Rituals

In combination these business strategy frameworks and concepts create what is often called a Business Operating Systems (BOS). A BOS is a collection of interconnected concepts, frameworks, processes and rituals that work together to run a business. Maximising the impact of resources and available productivity for the benefit of customers, employees and shareholders.


How To Develop A Strategy In 6 Simple Steps

Step 1 of 6 Is About Having A Winning Aspiration

The goal of Step 1 of the 6 Steps of our strategic planning process is to get to a position where you have agreed Winning Aspiration. You will need  to be able to articulate these to the wider business.


Step 2 of 6 Is About Serving Specific Customers

Step 2 of our strategic planning process ensures you get clarity on where you propose to play and win. This means you will need to understand and agree customer pain points, segments, value propositions, and customer personas.
You might have some of this information but having them current and accessible offers several benefits for a leadership team and teams within a company.

Step 3 of 6 Is About Structured Listening 

The goal of step 3 is to listen to a range of people from across the company, gather their thoughts, opinions, learnings, and ideas and capture them for consideration in a structured way.
The structuring of this information will make it easy to form a strategy that you can articulate, create the right scorecards, and align goals that will move-the-needle on those scorecards.
By asking for and listening to these inputs you are:
  • Gathering more information and often gathering better information
  • Increasing future engagement and effort
  • Creating belief
  • Increasing resilience
  • Improving alignment
  • Improving collaboration
  • Distributing accountability
You should do these exercises as a leadership team, in individual teams, and in cross-functional teams that need to collaborate closely e.g. sales and marketing.
The information you will be discussing and gathering includes KPIs, opportunities, issues, competencies, process improvements, AI application, and high performing behavioural traits that would support high levels of performance.

Step 4 of 6 Is About Articulating Your Strategy & Keeping Score

In step 3 you will have collected a huge amount of information. You now need to take those inputs, building on your SWOT and other insights gathered, and start to articulate how you and your teams are going to win. To help we’ve shared expert strategic wisdom, known to work strategic plays, and shared how you can write strategic narratives that include strategic arguments and statements. We also give you examples of what these might look like.

Step 5 of 6 – It’s Goal Setting Time!

It is goal setting time. However, we’re not just going to set goals that align with our strategy, we’re going to break our goals into executional activities, spot potential issues, and make sure the goal is actually achievable.
The framework we use as a default is OKR (Objectives & Key Results). You will learn more about OKRs, and how to write and use them correctly as part of the toolkit. This includes tutorial videos, examples and templates. So do not worry. We have made this powerful goal setting framework easy to learn and use.

Step 6 of 6 – Management Systems To Keep You On Track

Well done on getting this far. The biggest risk you now face is an executional one.
You are going to need to launch your plan and communicate how you will manage updates, and meetings where scorecards, OKRs, activities and issues are discussed.
Part of this is getting you plan, centralized and operationalized in software like ZOKRI should you not already have a solution. And also getting Fractional Chief of Staff Support, should you need a person responsible for getting this plan moving and keeping it on track.

Trial Our Software & Have The Management Systems To Deliver Your Winning Aspiration

If you’re using the concepts described here or would like to, we can help. We’ve the experts and software to get them up and running and bring them to life.