So you are researching and now discovering the real meaning of being strategic.
I wonder what moved you to do so? What it was the spark that ignite this journey? (share your comments)

I’m impressed that you are taking the time to do your homework and also that you actually find this article. In fact, I’m willing to take the change to answer every comment posted here just to prove there are more people like you and me willing to roll out a new era of development based on strategic thinking.

And it make a lot of sense, if we consider the great benefit of being a strategist: it means you really understand the added value of seeing at the big picture – no matter where you at at any organization – and take all concerns into account when taking actions.

These concerns are basically those that may affect or may be affected by your actions, either negatively or positively, for instance, if you intend to direct your unit or enterprise through a series of changes in the way to do business, then you may want to consult and take into consideration what other managers have to say about that proposal, for sure you’ll hear many arguments you have already anticipated, but be receptive about other not foreseen findings – be creative -.

Once you have gotten enough information on internal and external environments to analyze and clear up those major concerns, then you are ready to continue your journey, and it’s time to look into your strategy life cycle’s outline; it could be as proposed or you can adjust to your very particular needs, but this would fit most enterprises:

  • Baseline your current status
  • Define what do you want to achieve
  • Setting a mission and a vision would help but is not truly mandatory, as it is stating your overall objectives (outcome).
  • Create your strategy, indicating what your specific objectives (outputs) are and how do you plan to achieve them.
  • In order to properly monitor and assess your way to your goals, define SMART indicators or key performance indicator (KPI) for each output.
    • SMART indicators are:
      • Specific
      • Measurable
      • Achievable
      • Relevant
      • Time bound
  • Execute: prioritize and make smart trade-offs
  • Monitor progress of your actions (and adjust as needed)
  • Assess the completion of the plan

Furthermore, if you want to formally close the cycle I’d recommend you to embrace into an evaluation of the whole strategy process which will eventually take form like a systematization, lessons learned, or themed focused assessment. It could be done internally or contracted to an independent third party who was completely out of the loop and could evaluate more objectively how the implementation of the strategy took place.