Turning your North Star Strategy from a wish list to a data-driven achievable reality


“We’re unveiling a bold, new business strategy!” Many of us have sat through all-hands meetings listening to some version of that statement declaimed by leadership. Maybe, we’ve even been the ones to say it. Perhaps we’ve created brilliant, innovative strategies that pave a brave new path for our organizations. How often have these strategies delivered on their promises? How quickly have they gone from the peak of inflated expectations to the trough of disillusionment?

When a strategy fails, it’s common to point fingers and say, “Does our culture fit our strategy?” Or, to use a much-quoted, pithy business phrase, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This is a well-trodden business magazine topic and is usually getting at some version of the question: are you trying to implement a strategy for which your culture isn’t ready? As this article explains, “Culture is important. And a good strategy can, in fact, be consumed by a bad culture.” But is this really the main challenge when developing your organization’s business growth strategy? The article continues, “unless you get the strategy right, even the best culture won’t make much of a difference. In fact, the key point … is the sheer difficulty of getting the strategy right in the first place. “

Perhaps, when strategies fail to achieve their stated goals, what is actually going on is that the strategy, the great North Star document, is a wish list rather than a data-driven plan with clear and actionable steps necessary for achievement. The Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu wrote, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. “

This McKinsey article states, “The building blocks of strategy help companies make strategic choices and carry them through to operational reality.” The article goes on, “One central building block is deep insight into the starting position of the company: where and why it creates—or destroys—value (diagnose). Executives also need a point of view on how the future may unfold (forecast). By combining insights into a company’s starting position with a perspective on the future, the company can develop and explore alternative ways to win (search) and ultimately decide which alternative to pursue (choose).”

But here’s the rub: how do you gain those deep insights into where your company is now? Maybe you have a sense of how you believe your people, processes, and technology work together (or perhaps you don’t.) Or maybe that sense is an idealized notion of how they’re supposed to work, but the reality is far different. What is actually happening? What are the blockages in your processes? Are your processes being executed consistently by all relevant employees? How can you possibly know any of these answers for sure in a data-driven way? And how can you have a perspective on the future, your strategy to win, and the target operating model to support it if you don’t have a firm grasp on your current operating model?

How BusinessOptix can enable a data-driven strategy

The BusinessOptix transformation suite includes process discovery and process mapping tools that provide total operational transparency into how your business processes, people, and technology interact. These insights enable your organization to begin its digital transformation, identifying opportunities for optimization and intelligent automation. The BusinessOptix transformation platform enables you to make your organization agile, resilient, and continuously adaptable. Whether you want to enhance your end-to-end customer experiences, eliminate operational inefficiencies, manage risk control or create a digital twin to enable continuous improvement, BusinessOptix can help.

BusinessOptix helps unlock the value in your organization by helping you understand where you are today and effectively predict (through our simulation tool and scenario modeling) where your strategic decisions will bring you tomorrow. Where are your improvement opportunities? Does your technology roadmap make sense? Are your proposed automations the right ones, or will they just enable you to run a flawed process more quickly? Instead, do you need to enact process improvements before putting automation and other technologies in place?

Today’s economic situation is challenging, and many companies struggle with cost containment. Process discovery, mapping, and modeling may seem to fall into the discretionary expense bucket in today’s financial climate. But when times are challenging, it’s even more important to know where you should spend your money and deploy your resources to get the greatest return on investment. Whatever your strategy, BusinessOptix will help you turn it from a wish list to an achievable outcome.

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