Statistically, only 10% of well done strategic plans for different organizations are efficiently executed. One way to address this shortcoming is by having a clear strategy, communication and visualization that makes it easier for every stakeholder to understand the different elements that are entailed in the organization’s values and goals. This can be done and made easier through the use of a Strategy Map.
What is a Strategy Map and why is it important to an Organization?
In this article, we will be describing what a Strategy Map is and the important role it plays in the great success of an organization.
A Strategy Map is a visual diagram that illustrates the strategy of an organization in a single page, in four or more categories showing how the elements that constitute the organization can work together in a collaborative and aligned manner in order to drive financial and strategic results.
This illustration communicates the big-picture/objectives of the company to everyone in a summarized, easier and faster way. It enables an organization to describe and illustrate its objectives, targets and initiatives in clear and easy to understand language. Through this, it also outlines the measures used in assessing the company’s performance e.g. customer surveys and market share and the linkages that form the foundation of the organization’s strategic direction.
If an organization has a well-designed strategy map, all the employees are able to know the overall strategy and understand where, why and how they fit in. This is because the strategy map provides an easy way for the company to explain their strategy which includes their vision, mission and core values, to their employees as well as other corporate stakeholders. This enables them to increase the employees and stakeholders’ engagement in the company’s strategic process.
Examples of four important categories that make up an organization and which must be included in a strategy map include;
- People, learning and growth
- Operational and production processes and activities
- Customer relationships, processes and activities
- Financial growth and performance
Why is it important for an organization to have a Strategy Map?
Ties all the organization’s goals and objectives together.
Strategy maps help an organization in identifying their key goals and uncover gaps arising in their strategic plans before they begin the execution. Through this, the leaders are able to make important decisions relating to the overall objectives of the company and ways to fill the gaps that are realized.
All the goals and objectives of the organization are unified using a single strategy enabling everyone to stay on cause despite operating in different teams.
Team Collaboration and Alignment
When an organization has a unified vision, it helps in reducing friction at all the levels of the company. Despite different teams having different objectives, a strategy map shows everyone how things fit in together in a holistic view since the overall team has a better platform for testing out their ideas in line with the organization goals.
A single source of truth
A strategy map is very easy to remember. During challenging times, everyone can remember the key points and refer to them. This calls for the need to display your map around the workplace as a means of emphasizing to the employees its value propositions.
Empowers the employees in becoming better contributors
If an organization wishes to help its employees to feel more engaged and better understand their work’s positive impact on the company, then it calls for sharing the information necessary with all of them. A strategy map gives more context that improves and enhances employee focus and engagement towards impacting positively to the overall organizational objectives.
Communicates the value of intangible resources of the organization
A strategy map helps everyone understand that building stronger relationships with all the team members generates more strength and stronger strategic value for the company. This has previously been clarified by the Harvard Business Review explaining, “Strategy maps show how an organization will convert its initiatives and resources, including intangible assets like corporate culture and employee knowledge-into a tangible income.”
Identification of key goals and uncovering gaps
In conclusion, a strategy map is an effective and efficient mode of explaining how a company operates and includes the vital business activities that drive the strategic results. It facilitates important deliberations on the future and the required changes for a long term growth and prosperity sustainability of the company. Strategy maps help the leaders and the management of an organization in making important decisions as they allocate the available resources to each and every arm of the organization, deploying employees effectively and also in guiding the process of activities and processes execution, optimizing collaborative relationships that aid in the pursuit of strategic objectives.
This illustration of the vital elements of the organization and its strategy therefore informs the employees and everyone how interconnected the organization is and how this interconnection will create value, differentiation and competitive results. For an organization to succeed in a competitive business environment, it is important for each and every element of the value chain and every function in the business to understand the strategy and how production of financial results that will ensure prosperity needs to be done. All these are well highlighted and outlined in a strategy map.