The significance of reviewing organisational strategy

Regularly reviewing an organisation’s strategic plan ensures that it remains aligned with its long-term goals, adapts to changing environments, and optimally utilizes resources.

In today's rapidly evolving organisational and business landscape, staying ahead means not just setting a strategic direction but also revisiting it regularly.

The value of consistently reviewing organisational strategic plans cannot be emphasised enough.

Regularly reviewing an organisation’s strategic plan ensures that it remains aligned with its long-term goals, adapts to changing environments, and optimally utilizes resources.

Making sure your strategy stays evergreen is a critical but often overlooked component of the strategy implementation process.

The best approach to evaluating organisational strategy —and ensuring the changes are reflected in the overall strategy for the upcoming year or years—is to conduct annual strategy reviews.

A strategy review is the process in which organizations discuss the progress of their goals and objectives and make the necessary adjustments for the upcoming year.

Even though, on the surface, there might not be an apparent need for a strategy review, organisations will experience a number of benefits from taking the time to evaluate performance and identify areas for improvement.

For an organisation to be in a position to improve its performance, it all starts with strategy. However, organisational strategies need to be reviewed systematically and inclusively.

Most organisations do a strategy review once a year, typically at the end of their annual cycle.

So if you are on the calendar year, then your review would take place in January or February; otherwise it would happen at the beginning of your fiscal year.

Conducting this review annually allows you to review the previous year’s results and home in on elements that might need to be changed for the New Year.

However, if your organisation experiences a big change—like hiring a new projects manager or key staff in department of finance, for instance—it makes sense to conduct an ad hoc session at that time to realign your priorities.

The first thing that needs to be done during the strategy review process is to step back and look at each element of the organisation’s current strategic plan.

This involves asking the question, “Is our big-picture strategy still valid?”

This is important. If where the organisation stands has changed over the last year or over the last several years, that will dramatically impact all of the elements that make up the organisation’s strategic plan—from the mission, vision, and values, all the way down to the objectives, measures, and initiatives.

Therefore, it is vital to take time to look at your strategic landscape to see if there has been a disruption

One of the most significant benefits of strategy reviews is that employees have an opportunity to re-engage with the strategy.

Depending on where they sit within the organisation and the management structure, some people may not be regularly immersed in the strategic plan.

Conducting a periodic review brings it back into focus for everyone, expectantly stimulating a renewed sense of purpose.

Furthermore, it reinforces organizational alignment and in the process bringing everyone together to clarify mutual goals promoting collaboration and teamwork.

Employees are also reminded how their daily activities contribute to the bigger picture.

From a human resource management perspective, strategy reviews also promotes camaraderie among team members, leading to a positive, high-performance culture.

Strategy review sessions offer leaders the opportunity to shape culture by rewarding actions that align with organisational values, and fostering inclusion among team members.

When conducting a review of a strategy, it is extremely important to consider how the organisation will communicate updates to or changes within the plan throughout the organization and its key stakeholders.

Otherwise, it will be difficult to create organization-wide buy-in, which will make it far more difficult for the organisation to attain strategic success.

Regular reviews ensure that decisions are based on current data, insights, and environmental factors, which can lead to more informed and effective decision-making.

Demonstrating a commitment to strategic agility and adaptability often boosts stakeholder confidence as it shows the organization is proactive and responsive.

No one can accurately forecast the future but that doesn’t mean your organisation has to operate in the dark.

Strategy reviews is like having a crystal ball to keep your organisation on the right path.

Whether it is monitoring progress, adjusting strategies, or spotting unexpected surprises, strategic review prepares your organization for the future with hope and organisational wide confidence.

Reports are imperative to communicating performance on the organisation’s overall strategic plan.

If you simply ignore your reports during your strategy review process, the strategy you have worked so hard to build will simply become ineffective.

Therefore, the process should be able to ask the following questions:

  • Are we meeting at the right frequency? Daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly meetings have different purposes.
  • Are our reports formatted correctly? In other words, do the organisation’s programmatic or financial reports show the information everyone needs to see in order to understand the organisation’s performance?

An institution that manages to build and delegate a good strategy review intervention has great possibilities of overcoming the adversities of the globalised world and becoming a benchmark in the field in which it operates.

However, it is important to note that an organisation that has not defined its planning will end up being part of the group of “another institution with plans for the future”, running the risk of not having that “future”.

However, it cannot be forgotten that to achieve the desired objective of reviewing a strategy, it is necessary to have the support and commitment of the entire functional body of the organisation, since those responsible for the different phases of the process are the members of the organisation themselves.

The implementation of strategic planning is not an overnight process. The management team of the organisation must take a long time to get the new processes spot-on.

For the reason that it is a long process, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of strategic planning, immediate organisation end up rushing.

This type of thinking ends up side-lining the strategy, which can hurt the organisation much more soon.

Well-structured strategy reviewing process provides a kind of road map to align the functional activities of the organisation to achieve the established objectives.

It guides management discussions and decision-making to determine resource needs to achieve previously defined objectives and thereby increase operational efficiency.

*Samuel Wadzai is the executive director of the Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (Viset)




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