April 2011 - CFO Roundtable - Sally Schmall


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This month the Roundtable will provide an overview of current best practices and considerations for managers to explore in determining the best strategic business planning process for their business.

Sally Schmall, President & CEO of Academy Coaching will summarize the best practices employed by her clients ranging from manufacturing companies to the University of Michigan. Ms. Schmall is the lead organizational consultant and trainer providing a multiyear core competency strategic planning / training process at the University. An energetic and engaging speaker, she has presented workshops on organizational effectiveness across the country.

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  • While LouGerstner,
  • The balanced score card is a multifaceted tool that combines both financial and non financial factors to measure company performance. Kaplan and Norton developed the approach in the late 1990’s based on the realization that financial returns are only one aspect for organizational success
  • Your narrative has to mean something to your employees. It has to be about more than facts and figures - for example - it could contain stories and anecdotes to illustrate where your business is going. UM: As a result of training, 300 employees based across multiple locations are drawn together by the same vision and know they are part of one organization. identify champions in different departments or teams who can identify and share examples from their parts of your business - they can have a key role in linking managers with the ideas and experiences of employees - see our page on employee engagement champions  in our guide on  employee engagement - an overview With any method you use - collate the results, identify key themes and discuss them with your employees. Involving your employees in developing your narrative can help them make a personal connection to it and strengthen their commitment to achieving your business' goals.
  • What is lacking in this strategic plan? This strategy could be applied to virtually any organization / business The bullet points communicate priorities at the most basic level, and while they convey goals they ignore the complex processes and resources / training needed to actually realize these goals As a result, strategy can seem ungrounded, abstract and even frustrating for employees to understand
  • Gordon Shaw, Executive Director of Planning at 3M first coined the term “strategic narratives” when he wrote about how consultants at the 3M corporation used stories to communicate strategy. To describe strategic problems and objectives they created stories life a fiction piece with a setting, conflict and resolution Information conveyed in a story form has much higher absorption rate then bulleted lists UM union negotiations; FORD analogy “sparking action; spring board stories”
  • Mapping out your own thoughts can help you form a framework, which you can then ask senior managers and employees to contribute to or amend
  • The priorities give everyone clear direction of what needs to be achieved. They have been developed with staff and have been widely promoted through management briefings, the intranet and internal newsletters."
  • You need to communicate your narrative to build common purpose across your business and to guide everyday behavior. You could: Include regular features or case studies in internal newsletters to show how employees apply the values Be Creative -  eg use graphics, photos, maps or timelines to illustrate your business' past, present and future
  • April 2011 - CFO Roundtable - Sally Schmall

    1. 1. BEST PRACTICE APPROACHES IN STRATEGIC PLANNING Sally Schmall, MSW Faculty, University of Michigan President, Academy Coaching Specializing in talent acquisition , leadership development and organizational competency models in Industry and Hig her Education http://AcademyCoaching.com sallyschmall@academycoaching.com (p) 734-274-1436 (f) 734- 668.2525 516 E. Washington Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104
    3. 3. FACT <ul><li>There is no single “best practice” for how to do successful strategic planning. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Timing and process will differ depending on; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Industry </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Market pressures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Size and culture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ We used to have strategy meetings twice a year. Now we have them every two weeks”. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>John Donahoe, eBay CEO </li></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. TOP 10 BEST PRACTICES <ul><li>Stretch goals drive strategic out of the box thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Planning processes are evolving and flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Communication is intentional </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic thinking takes place at the unit level </li></ul><ul><li>Distinction between strategic planning and business planning is blurred </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic planning is linked to other elements </li></ul><ul><li>Core competency models are implemented </li></ul><ul><li>Despite variations; framework of issue and option generation, prioritization, review/feedback continues </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation of rational is stressed </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy is communicated as narrative </li></ul>
    5. 5. THE BALANCED SCORECARD APPROACH Kaplan, R. & Norton, D. The Balanced Scorecard. Harvard Business School Press, 1996 Strategic Objectives Strategic Measures Financial Broaden revenue mix Revenue growth, mix Customer Increase after sale satisfaction Customer retention, surveys Internal Create innovative products New product revenue, product development cycle Learning Provide strategic information across business units Strategic information availability ratio
    6. 6. STRATEGIC PLANNING; A PARTICIPATORY PROCESS <ul><li>University of Michigan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Charged HR leaders to create an organizational competency model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invested in wide scale training to ensure model would drive talent management strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating strategic narrative via employee engagement champions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Operationalized materials via intranet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Asahi Manufacturing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engaged parent company, internal business units in organizational assessment/audit of structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying skills essential to each position to inform and ensure an organizational structure geared toward the retention and attraction of high performing employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each quarter the President shares plans for the business and employees ask questions and offer their views </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. COMPANY “X’S” STRATEGIC PLAN <ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce over head and high costs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expedite product development and line extensions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase market share by 15% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase profits by 25% </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. STRATEGIC NARRATIVES <ul><li>Strategic planning is a complex process of; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantitative analysis, organizational assessments, intense conversations, and difficult trade offs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s important to keep the reasons for the planning clear, concrete and connected to the organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Framing strategy as a narrative is clear, specific, and even entertaining </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A story can help people understand and buy into organizational strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shaw,G. &quot;Strategic Stories: How 3M is Rewriting Business Planning&quot;, Harvard Business Review June 1998 </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. CREATING A STRATEGIC NARRATIVE <ul><li>Your narrative starts with you. You should be clear on your vision for your business and what inspires you about it. </li></ul>
    10. 10. TAILOR YOUR STRATEGIC NARRATIVE <ul><li>To help employees build a personal attachment to your narrative encourage teams to tailor the strategic narrative to fit their area of work. </li></ul><ul><li>Teams may want to do this by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>developing their own summary statement of what the strategic narrative means to them and their work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>writing articles for internal publications, blogs or the intranet on how their team is using the narrative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hosting lunchtime seminars for others to explain their role and the way in which they support the narrative in their everyday work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>filming their own take on the narrative or what key elements mean to them to be shown in communal areas or as part of a video gallery for the intranet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>working together to strengthen the link between the narrative and everyday activities giving you their views, examples and anecdotes </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. COMMUNICATE YOUR STRATEGIC NARRATIVE <ul><li>Make your narrative document freely available for employees </li></ul><ul><li>Publish a summary of your narrative on a range of materials for your workplace  </li></ul><ul><li>show how employees have used the narrative to inform their decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>Be creative in communicating your narrative </li></ul><ul><li>Know where you want to go….and ask others how to best get there </li></ul>
    12. 12. &quot;Cheshire Puss,...Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?&quot; &quot;That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,&quot; said the Cat. &quot;I don't much care where--&quot; said Alice. &quot;Then it doesn't matter which way you go,&quot; said the Cat. &quot;--so long as I get SOMEWHERE,&quot; Alice added as an explanation. &quot;Oh, you're sure to do that,&quot; said the Cat, &quot;if you only walk long enough.&quot;                                                   from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll