Strategic Pillars are one of the most popular strategy models used as part of an annual strategic planning process. Put simply, they are the battlegrounds your company must focus on and win. Here you will learn how to create your Strategic Pillars and operationalise their delivery, ensuring there is not a strategy and execution divide.
Strategic pillars are about channeling your resources towards winning the battles that allow you to serve you customers better than anyone else – and ultimately move closer to your vision.
Why should you dedicate time and energy to discover you strategic pillars? Because at the heart of every inspiring organization is a clear sense of purpose – a ‘why.’ This purpose drives you, and you strategic pillars are a key part of the roadmap that guides you towards it. They represent the key areas that we must excel in to make your vision a reality.
But to identify these pillars, you need to do the necessary work. It requires a deep understanding of your purpose, your vision, your customers, and your competitive landscape. It demands that you ask challenging questions and make difficult decisions.
Once you identified these strategic pillars, you must focus your resources towards them. You must choose your battles wisely, concentrating your efforts where we can make the most significant impact. This focus allows you to serve our customers better than your competitors and move towards your vision more effectively.
You start by understanding your vision, mission and winning aspiration.
Next, you need to understand your customers deeply. What are their needs? How can you serve them better than anyone else? What is your Value Proposition. Answering these questions will help you identify the areas where we need to focus our resources.
You also need to understand your competitive landscape. Who are your competitors? What are they good at? Where are they lacking? This understanding will help us identify where we can excel and differentiate yourself.
Finally, you need to focus your resources. This means making hard decisions. You can’t do everything, so you must choose the battles that we can win and that will make the most significant impact.
We take you through these steps and others as part of the FAST Transformation strategic planning process.
Learn How To Use Strategic Pillars or Perspectives Is Part Of The Workshop Toolkit
If can identify your strategic perspectives or pillars along with clearly articulated strategic narratives and KPI scorecards, you have laid the foundations of a highly focused, competitive, and customer-centric company.
You will have created a way of ensuring goal clarity, where everyone understands the direction you are going and their role in it. As part of the FAST Transformation Toolkit we show you how to use the OKR Framework to do this.
And of course, you will have fostered a spirit of collaboration, as you all work towards a shared vision.
Finding your strategic pillars and focusing your resources, it’s a necessity. It’s the work you must do to serve your customers better than your competitors and move towards you vision. Embrace this work and create an organization that truly make a difference.
Strategic pillars are the key areas of focus or priorities that an organization chooses to achieve its long-term vision and strategic objectives. They are also often called ‘Battlegrounds’.
Strategic themes or pillars are the broad areas of focus that underpin your overall business strategy. They represent the key priorities for your organization over a given period of time — typically one year — and provide guidance on where resources should be allocated.
For example, if one of your strategic pillars was “product excellence and customer experience,” then all initiatives related to improving customer satisfaction would fall under this pillar. This could include things like implementing new technology solutions, training staff members on best practices for interacting with customers, or conducting surveys to gather feedback from customers about their experiences with your brand.
By defining these overarching themes upfront as part of the planning process, everyone within the organization has clarity around what’s most important at any given moment in time. This helps ensure alignment across teams so that everyone is working towards common objectives rather than pursuing individual agendas.
Put simply, Strategic Pillars are the building blocks upon which your strategy is built, helping to guide decision-making and resource allocation across the business.
How you decide on your pillars is a social process. In and across teams, in the markets you want to play, and for the customers you want to serve in those markets, you need to work out and propose to serve them better than your competition.
To arrive at your objectives that can be clustered and prioritized to form your pillars you should have considered a range of challenging questions, questions like:
The FAST Transformation toolkit helps explore these and other questions that help you create a winning plan.
Think of Strategic Pillars as the three of four areas of focus your business has decided to focus on as a results of a strategic planning process. They are often referred to as the ‘battlegrounds you must win.
Like all forms of strategy the role of Strategic Pillars is simple. To focus and align the people, productivity and resources in the company on the areas that will help the company maximize growth by serving you target customers better than the competition.
You should see Strategic Pillars are an opportunity to clearly articulate your strategy to your teams so that they might create OKRs that support and align with them – more that that it a moment.
Simply having a strategy is not enough; you need to be able to execute that strategy effectively if you want your business to succeed.
One way of doing this is by using strategic themes or pillars together with OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). In this article, we’ll explore what these terms mean and how they can help you achieve your goals.
Research by Kaplan and Norton found that only 10% of organizations successfully execute their strategies. Organizations should align their strategies with objectives, measures, targets, and initiatives, which in turn can improve execution and overall performance.
Introduction and Context Setting:
OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. These are specific targets set by an organization which define measurable outcomes required for success against each objective identified during goal setting sessions. The OKR framework is adept at acting as a strategy execution framework.
The purpose behind creating OKR’s is twofold: firstly it provides directionality toward achieving desired results while secondly providing transparency into progress made along those lines throughout execution phases thereby enabling course correction when necessary based upon feedback received from stakeholders.
KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are metrics that help you track progress towards your goals. They provide a way to measure the success of specific initiatives and ensure that they’re aligned with broader strategic objectives.
For example, if one of your strategic pillars was “employee engagement,” then some potential KPIs might include things like employee satisfaction scores, turnover rates among high-performing employees (indicating retention), or productivity levels across different departments within the organization.
By tracking these key performance indicators over time and comparing them against benchmarks set by industry standards or internal targets established during goal setting sessions held annually between management team members such as CEO’s/COO’s/CFO’s etc., department heads/managers/supervisors/team leads etc., it becomes possible to identify areas where improvements can be made in order to achieve desired outcomes more effectively while also providing transparency into progress being made along those lines throughout execution phases thereby enabling course correction when necessary based upon feedback received from stakeholders
Strategic themes/pillars work together with OKRs and KPI’s because they provide directionality toward achieving desired results while simultaneously ensuring alignment across teams so everyone is working towards common objectives rather than pursuing individual agendas.
OKR’s define measurable outcomes required for success against each objective identified during annual goal-setting sessions held between management team members such as CEO’s/COO’s/CFO’s etc., department heads/managers/supervisors/team leads etc.. This provides clarity around what needs doing at any given moment in time which helps keep everyone focused on their respective tasks without getting sidetracked by other priorities competing for attention elsewhere within an organization.
Finally, using relevant data points tracked via various types of software tools enables organizations not only monitor but also analyze trends related specifically back down through all levels of management hierarchy thereby enabling course correction when necessary based upon feedback received from stakeholders.
In conclusion, using strategic themes or pillars together with OKRs and KPIs is an effective way to execute your strategy because it provides directionality toward achieving desired results while simultaneously ensuring alignment across teams so everyone is working towards common objectives rather than pursuing individual agendas.
By tracking progress against these metrics over time, organizations can identify areas where improvements need to be made in order to achieve their goals more effectively which ultimately leads them closer towards success!