A Three-step Tool for performing a Strategic Focus Process
“As part of our preparations for next year, we are interested in conducting a strategic focus process that is brief, focused and effective,” says Deganit, VP Marketing at a manufacturing company with global distribution operating in the FoodTech market.
“What do you have in mind?” I ask.
“We operate in a large number of verticals and sub-verticals,” Deganit elaborates, “and we could do with more information to make operative decisions in two key verticals. As part of the preparation of our work plan for the next budgetary year, we’d like you to help us formulate recommendations that will serve as a base from which management can extract business targets and tasks for these two verticals (and their sub-verticals), and integrate them into the company’s work plan for the coming year, and into our strategic plan for the next five years.”
Now it’s all clear.
For this project, we put together a team comprising a competitive intelligence expert, an expert in strategic planning and business development, with expertise in the client’s core business area.
In meetings with Deganit, we tailored a process to fit management’s needs: We formulated an in-depth and extremely focused 10-week process composed of three key stages.
Stage 1 – Formulation of a working model and analysis
We formulated a working model and analysis that would allow us to weight the information in light of key parameters. It would also allow us to draw conclusions based on qualitative and quantitative data since the model allows quantitative values to be given to the various parameters and neutralization of mental biases.
Photo by Tirachardz on Freepik
The indications we obtain from the model would serve as the foundation for our recommendations to management.
Stage 2 – Collection and Mapping
The collection and mapping stage is divided into two parts:
Collection of all the relevant information already known to the company, and its input into the model.
Enrich the database with supporting information (both business and technology-related) through in-depth research outside of the company and interviews with relevant people in the industry.
While collecting information, we identified several professional databases that company management had not been aware of, and that could in fact be a power multiplier for them.
Stage 3 – Information Analysis and Formulating Conclusions and Recommendations
We analyzed the information and entered it into the tool we developed for the company.
Using different filters, one can create a heat map in the tool to visualize and rank the data by color and so draw conclusions for each vertical and sub-vertical based on their relevance to the company in keeping with pre-defined parameters.
Photo by Freepik
The tool weights quantitative and qualitative data making it possible to draw conclusions as to the directions in which management should continue to act (and which are not worthwhile…); which new trends are of potential interest; and what the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is in each of the verticals and sub-verticals in which we identified a significant advantage for the company, or the chance of creating one for it.
From the findings, we produced and presented our recommendations.
At the closing meeting at the end of the process, we presented management with the conclusions via the analytical tool we had developed specifically for the company, and then conducted a joint discussion of the recommendations.
The entire process lasted roughly two and a half months. Throughout this period, we maintained open discussion with Deganit as well as with the CEO, members of the board, and members of the company team working in various geographic markets.
The conclusions we presented to the company could be translated immediately into a work plan, including goals and tasks.
Do you think this sounds good?...
Well, it gets even better since we gave management the tool we’d developed for their continued use. This means they can keep updating and supplementing the information it contains so as to produce conclusions from it in strategic focus processes in the future.
If you are also keen to find your focus and USP in your market, you’re invited to contact me.