7 steps to create and maintain strategy in times of crisis

In regular time strategy is a very linear process that depends on some ability to predict the future. Once a certain direction and course of action formulated, there is a long process that verifies if the suggested strategy will have a positive impact and support from financial, HR, internal and external power groups. Analysis (such as SWOT, Value chain, impact on products) carried out to validate the impact of the strategy. At the end of this process, changes will introduce to the organization following by a list of projects required to implement the strategy.

In a time of crisis, the pace of changes is extremely fast and it’s hard to make any predictions. When the pace of the changes exceeding the cycle time of creating a strategy, it’s time to switch to a different way of creating strategies. This way is based on non-linear interaction to create a strategy with the ability to adjust to a high frequency of changes in predictions.

I call this way the random evolving strategy. The concept of this way of creating a strategy is different than the linear one. The foundation is understanding, knowing and publishing all the “steps” of creating a strategy and how they depend on each other. Based on this understanding there are 7 simple rules any group that responsible for a step in creating a strategy should follow.

  1. The company must define one clear purpose it tries to archive during the crisis and list of priorities.
  2. Each group in the organization follow the purpose and priorities
  3. Each group responsible for a step can define and execute action items based on their observation and feedback they received.
  4. Each group must evaluate his strategic decisions against the group and the company metrics. If the change is negative on most of the metrics, the group must change its course of action.
  5. Upon defining and executing the task, all relevant steps in creating the strategy needed to be updated
  6. Upon notification of task definition or execution, any business entity that receives notifications ( they responsible for strategy task) should adjust their tasks, or raise a concern, or keep on following their decisions.
  7. Concerns must be resolved fast using the company conflict resolution process (managers in most companies)

This process might look chaotic in the beginning, but if you’ll try it you’ll find out that all the groups continuously maintaining a dynamic strategy that is agile and able to respond to most of the fast pace changes.

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