By: Brian Ragan, Senior Strategic Management Consulting Services
The following is part 13 of a multi-part series on The KHA Way, KHA Management Consulting’s Integrated Service Offering. This blog series includes the benefits of using KHA Management Consulting Services and the components included.
Previously, we introduced KHA’s three phases of corporate strategy.
Phase 1. – Long Term Blueprint.
Phase 2. – Offering Alignment.
Phase 3. – Short Term Tactics. In this series, we will dive into an organization’s long-term blueprint. This phase takes a look at where you want your organization to head in the long term, what it truly values, and why and how it chooses to operate.
The first step in understanding your firm’s Long-Term Blueprint is to take an honest assessment of where your firm sits today. Our team at KHA Management Consultants starts the corporate strategy portion of The KHA Way by guiding our clients through a customized SWOT analysis to identify and draw attention to the organizations’ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Our SWOT analysis is worth a blog series on their own and can go as in-depth as needed to be. The most important take away from this series is that the SWOT analysis must be done before anything else can take place as this sets the stage for everything else that is to occur.
Once your organization’s SWOT are understood, we then move our clients into the Vision setting exercises. Here, we consider where an organization will be well off into the future, once all its short-term goals are met. What does the firm look like? What products is it selling? How is it creating value for its customers? Who are its customers? All these items are taken into consideration in crafting the firm’s vision. If the Vision is where you as a firm ultimately want to be, your organization must follow your Core Values.
After Vision setting, our team moves our clients into exercises that help identify the organization’s values. These values are items that cannot be sacrificed in order to serve your customers. Values are unique to every organization and could be focused on product quality, timeliness, customer service, attitude, or any other attribute your organization finds absolutely critical to, not only its success, but also to its existence. These Values, once set, are to be shared throughout the firm and celebrated by all employees. If employees do not abide by the core values, they may not be the best personnel fit for your organization, or even worse, you may have poorly identified values, and the work done here should be revisited.
Next, we typically move our clients into what author Jim Collins, in his book ‘Good to Great’, calls an organization’s Hedgehog. A Hedgehog does one thing very well: hides with its spikes. We need to find what your organization does very well and channel this type of focus. An organization’s hedgehog is comprised of the answers to three questions. 1. What do you do better than everybody else? 2. What are innately passionate about? 3. What makes you money? Our team of consultants takes time to guide our clients through these questions and, usually visually, can find an area where the answers to these questions start to overlap. That overlapping section is the organization’s hedgehog. What it does very well, like a hedgehog, it knows how to survive!
Before we move onto the final step in an organization’s Long-Term Blueprint, let us have a quick recap of the strategic pillars we have developed thus far.
- We have gained an understanding of the firm’s current market position with a SWOT analysis.
- We have determined where the firm wants to be decades in the future with a vision.
- We have defined the firm’s rules of play in determining its values.
- We have identified where the firm should focus on by identifying its Hedgehog. Finally, we must craft a firm’s 10-year target.
The 10-year target is the first strategic initiative that starts to cross over from theoretical into the realm of feasible. It needs to be difficult, yes. It needs to be currently out of reach, yes, but it also needs to be close enough to where the firm is at now, that a path can be developed to get there. Defining your 10-year target is the last phase in the Long-Term Blueprint. It is the tactical phase in getting you where you need to go and the perfect segue into Phase 2 of your organization’s strategic planning process, the Offering Alignment.
At KHA Management Consultants, we work with mid-market industry leaders to identify what makes the organization, its stakeholders, and its’ employees tick. We facilitate Process Alignment with your organization’s key constituents to ensure buy-in, ownership, and a new way of thinking about the organization and its stakeholders amongst all levels. From a resource perspective, we primarily use our unmatched experience but also tap into the top-level resources such as those made available by Harvard Business Review, relevant strategic management authors, and MentorPlus. Some of those materials, frameworks, and lessons have been used in authoring this series.
KHA Management Consultants, the consulting department of KHA Accountants, PLLC, based in Flower Mound, Texas, is always looking for opportunities to work with key clients ready to take their organization to the next level. If you have a desire to improve, take the first step toward success with the strategic management experts, and contact us at 972-221-2500.