We help organizations develop a vision for where they want to go, a plan for getting there, and an approach to engage the entire organization.
Trailhead uses a novel approach to strategic planning that combines traditional strategic management practices with design thinking methodology, in a process we term “Strategy by Design”.
Our approach helps organizations move past incremental thinking that is entrenched in the status quo and unlocks the creative capacity of the organization. Doing so helps the organization realize a distinctive and sustainable position while getting everyone energized and involved.
Goal: To outline the strategic planning process as a project…it has a beginning, middle, and an end. Defining it as a project forces us to articulate goals and objectives at the outset. Is this a one year plan, a three year, or longer? Is it a corporate-wide strategy or a functional one that needs to link to an organizational one? These questions and much more are answered in this first step of our process. Finally, establishing it as a project enables us to develop key milestones, checkpoints, and deadlines to ensure the project moves forward with vitality and energy.
Key Deliverables: A Strategic Design Brief
Goal: In the discovery phase we leverage a robust set of tools (quantitative and qualitative) to analyze the “AS-IS” state of the organization, both internally and externally. The key here is to move past the low hanging fruit and develop novel insights that may not be well understood. This is where external partners…and highly trained ones at that (our analysts generally have Ph.D.’s and are highly trained researchers)…create immense value for our clients. Through fresh eyes and deep analytic skills, we are able to capture and share insights that will move your organization forward.
Key Deliverables: A Discovery Presentation and Report
Goal: We have to do something with all of the data captured during discovery. In the isolate phase, we aggregate our findings across key dimensions. We then synthesize into key “Opportunity and Challenge” statements and rank order based on key criteria such as opportunity, viability, and feasibility. We leave the isolate phase with 5-10 key opportunities for improvement and transformation.
Key Deliverables: An Aggregation Framework and Ranked List of Opportunities and Challenges
Goal: In the design phase we bring in our creative team to lead the organization through design thinking workshops to help co-create solutions to opportunity and challenge statements. We tap into the collective genius of the organization and in doing so accomplishes two core objectives. First, employee engagement increases as individuals feel as though they are playing a vital role in shaping the organizations strategy, especially if elements of such solutions are entered into practice. Second, through our design thinking workshops the organizational develops a shared language, process, and culture for driving innovation and growth across the organization. This has long last effects.
Key Deliverables: A Working Draft of Strategic Plan for Feedback and Iteration
Goal: After many iterations, a strategic plan consisting of priorities, initiatives, measures, incentives, responsibilities, etc. is developed and professionally polished through compelling narratives and visual storytelling. The final plan needs to energize and compel the organization to act collectively towards the new vision, and provide a framework to evaluate performance. Complementing the strategic plan will be an organizational and financial plan to help the organization realize their new position.
Key Deliverables: A Final Strategic and Operating Plan
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