September 27, 2023


Learn Business From Experience

Implementing a Collaborative Strategy –

4 min read

I sat down with three enterprise leaders final week to interview them about how they deal with technique. I began the session by asking, “Who owns your organization’s technique?” All three replied they did. My expertise tells me that isn’t the very best reply.

The CEO or chief can and may personal the imaginative and prescient of the corporate’s current and future — the place the corporate goes. However in my view, they don’t seem to be the very best one(s) to personal how the corporate will get there — in different phrases, technique. With regards to technique, firms profit when the chief holds the reins loosely and lets it have a lifetime of its personal.

The chief’s function is to set the imaginative and prescient and path of the corporate and actually, nobody can try this however the chief. Usually, the chief, particularly if an entrepreneur, is a dreamer by nature. This additionally signifies that, usually talking, planning will not be their sturdy swimsuit.

Making a bucket of actionable concepts

Ideally, the chief lays out a imaginative and prescient of the long run by writing an in depth Painted Image or Vivid Imaginative and prescient three to 5 years out (see books by Cameron Herold). With regards to planning technique, the CEO’s imaginative and prescient is then shared with all key group members and management at a time and place away from the grind of day-to-day work, what we check with as an “offsite.”

The group then brainstorms what should occur to make that imaginative and prescient a actuality. That is most profitable with somebody apart from the chief facilitating, as they’re neutral to the content material.

Everybody’s concepts are written on particular person Publish-its that are placed on the partitions. The group then votes on the concepts that transfer the corporate closest to the imaginative and prescient with the least quantity of time and effort concerned. The concepts with essentially the most votes grow to be the objectives, initiatives and motion gadgets for the corporate technique for the subsequent yr, damaged down into bite-size items. 

For perspective, my firm at the moment has six annual objectives, six half-year initiatives, and 16 motion gadgets we’re working by. Concepts that don’t rank are put in a “parking zone” for consideration on the subsequent technique or brainstorming session. The end result of this train is a giant bucket of concepts to implement, plus a collection of the very best concepts to implement instantly.

This group collaborative strategy requires a leap of religion from the chief, who lets go of some management, however I’ve discovered it produces the very best concepts from essentially the most views.

Share technique however assign execution

Voting normally results in implementing the very best concepts first; extra importantly, the group looks like their ideas and enter are valued. In flip, they help the implementation of those objectives wholeheartedly as they gave their enter and agreed to the result.

Ideally, these outcomes are illustrated on a One-Web page Strategic Plan (see books by Verne Harnish). Plans longer than one web page grow to be tough to execute and preserve worker give attention to. One particular person ought to be designated the “Technique Shepherd” or keeper of the plan; this particular person maintains the technique and concepts and retains issues transferring alongside. It usually works finest to make this “shepherd” the facilitator of the technique classes. (In my group, each roles are expertly carried out by our Tradition, Technique and Recruiting particular person.)

The ultimate step is to assign the agreed-on initiatives, objectives and motion gadgets to a lead who’s chargeable for executing that merchandise. This spreads the strategic work round and entails the required events relatively than solely burdening the CEO. The plan is reviewed in a biweekly huddle, the place the leads report back to the group on their progress, forcing accountability and on the similar time boosting morale by letting the group see the ahead progress on the corporate reaching its objectives.

Your imaginative and prescient will come to life

This strategy took our firm about ten years to evolve, however since then we’ve seen enormous success in reaching our visions and reaching our objectives by well-defined technique. As a CEO, entrepreneur or enterprise chief, you’ll be able to enhance your achievement price by recalibrating to view imaginative and prescient as a “me” factor and technique as a “we” factor.

Contributed to EO by Barry Raber, a 22-year EO member in Portland. Barry is a serial entrepreneur, president of Carefree RV Storage, the founding father of Business Property Trust, and EO Portland‘s Entrepreneur of the 12 months. He shares his profitable enterprise secrets and techniques at

This put up initially appeared on the Portland Business Journal and is reprinted right here with the writer’s permission.

For extra insights and inspiration from at present’s main entrepreneurs, try EO on Inc. and extra articles from the EO weblog. 

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