The six principles below are incorporated into our platform’s methodology to effectively Drive Strategy™ in the most efficient manner.
Objective: Regardless of any client’s particular set of circumstances, our platform is designed to be completely objective and customizable. The platform supports world-class planning and execution enabling you to have your very own outstanding strategic plan which is custom written for your unique situation.
Insightful: LightStance fosters open and focused discussions centered around the values, vision, and mission unique to each client. These strategic insights are the catalyst that shifts the trajectory of our client’s success, allowing them to achieve more than they ever thought possible. These discussions must be continuous in order to find new opportunities, concerns, and actions that can increase the depth of understanding and uncover difficult-to-find insights.
Flexible: Life never goes exactly to plan. This platform and process are both flexible and efficient to update, enabling you to tweak or revamp your plan as needed. The platform focuses teams and individuals to develop the overall strategy and make certain that progress is constantly being made towards their future vision and goals.
Engaging: The process is supported by materials and techniques that foster individual & team engagement based on concepts like gamification, kinetic learning, and discussion pedagogy. The advanced design delivers powerful results because we leverage human nature’s strengths rather than force what is unnatural and off-putting.
Focused: In order to have the greatest impact, we must concentrate time, energy and resources on the most important objectives that drive efficient and impactful improvement. All content is connected to values, goals, opportunities, concerns (risks), and commitments (projects). All of these essential factors are then prioritized based on impact, time, cost and or likelihood of occurrence/success. This system leaves zero room for guessing and allows you to know when and what to do… and maybe more importantly, what not to do.
Efficient: The process is extremely efficient at delivering effective plans quickly. The speed and agility of the platform save a tremendous amount of time and cost throughout the planning phase. Since strategy is useless without execution, the platform also supports efficient execution and updating of the strategic plan. Additionally, there is an advanced report generation based on real-time data that enter the program, so you will always have an updated plan at your fingertips.
1. Define Direction
Set the direction from where you are today to where you want your personal life or organization to be in the future. This is done by establishing or refreshing your values, vision, and mission. Values act as guiding principles to empower people to make decisions that are both correct and aligned with your vision. A Vision is what reality is to become in the future, typically three to five years out. The Mission focuses on how to drive value today.
2. Establish SMART Goals
Once the Values, Vision, and Mission are well understood, SMART goals must be established. These goals must be large enough to make the vision become reality, while also detailed enough to establish the SMART criteria; SMART = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Oriented. Sharing well-defined goals properly set drastically improves the likelihood of success. When goals are unclear or vague, typically nothing will ever get done. Clarity and completeness produce a much easier path to achieve success.
3. Identify & Prioritize Key Opportunities
Relative to the SMART goals, opportunities are identified and prioritized in terms of positive impact potential. An opportunity is a potential action or series of actions that can be taken, given a specific set of current circumstances, that can produce a positive impact. Opportunities that are relevant to SMART goals need to be seized frequently in order to realize the vision while supporting the values and mission.
4. Identify & Prioritize Key Risks
Just as important as opportunities are risks since they can delay or possibly prevent the achievement of goals. Addressing risk upfront minimizes the impact and occurrences, resulting is a balance and robust strategy. Simply being aware of risk can produce a positive impact since staff can have an awareness, a knowing of what to look for to aid in avoiding potentially negative outcomes.
5. Identify & Prioritize Key Projects
Now having an inventory of risks and opportunities that will foster the realization of goals, a healthy project inventory with projects that are prioritized and well defined with SMART criteria become the plan to execute. Every time a project is completed, the organization’s cash position should improve. Once enough projects are completed, the goals are then achieved, and the vision becomes the new reality. Then another round of planning begins to continue to grow and improve the organization to realize the new, grander vision. The SMART criteria for projects is: SMART = Scope, Metrics (project metrics), Accountability (Project Champion and Project Manager), Resources (Human and Financial) and Time-Based Deliverables (Milestones).
6. Execute Projects
Once the projects are prioritized and selected to implementation, it is time to roll up the sleeves and get things done. There will be numerous projects running concurrently to maximize ROI. The number of active projects for an organization varies depending on the scope of the projects and the resources available. Typically, there should always be 3 to 5 projects that are active at one time. That also means once a project is complete, a new project can be launched out of the inventory of projects that are waiting to improve the position of the organization. A cadence of accountability calls where the entire team of leaders, stakeholders, project champions and project managers should provide updates to what has been done, what will be done before the next call, what additional support is needed to address any unplanned barriers that need to be overcome, which projects are closed and which projects to activate.
7. Recognize & Repeat
Once the goals are realized, the plan has been achieved and the future state is now the new current state. It is important at this time to celebrate the success with the team, realize the lessons learned and recognize the achievements made by the team. Then is it time to prepare for another cycle of strategic improvement where the prior 6 steps are repeated given the new state of the business and current set of circumstances.