Just like a new year’s resolution, refreshing your business strategy is like breathing new life into your business goals and aspirations. However, a strategy reset is slightly more complex than those new year’s resolutions where you aim to hit the gym more than once a year or commit to finally reading that book that’s been on your shelf gathering dust for years.
And that’s exactly why it is so important to take the time at the start of a new financial year to refresh your strategy and set your business objectives. Not only does it start the year off on the right note, but it also creates a strong foundation for successful strategy execution throughout the year.
In this article, we highlight the importance of refreshing your strategy and how an OKR reset, in particular, can help with sustained and successful strategy execution all year long.
Reflecting on past performance to improve into the future
Refreshing your strategy at the start of a year allows you to reflect on your current strategy and truly understand its effectiveness. It’s asking questions like “What worked?”, “What didn’t?” and “What do we need to do to get where we want to go?”
Taking this time to reflect will help to highlight areas for improvement as well as areas where the business has been successful, and where this success can be optimised and leveraged.
Taking a step back from the business also enables business leaders to identify new opportunities for growth and expansion.
By refreshing your strategy, new markets, products and services can be explored that have the potential to diversify revenue streams, create efficiencies and increase your overall profitability.
Adapting to the market to ensure strategic resilience and relevance
“Do what today others won’t, so tomorrow, you can do what others can’t.”
– Brian Rogers Loop
In our ever-changing world it is becoming more important than ever to be aware of emergent trends and their likely impact on our business. We have found benefit in our clients performing a strategy refresh on an annual basis to ensure their strategy continues to be aligned to achieving their ambition, but more importantly that their strategy remains relevant, resilient and open to market trends and developments.
By reviewing and updating your strategy at the start of each financial year, business leaders can anticipate and adapt to any shifts in the market, such as changes in consumer demand, economic conditions, and industry trends. Future-proofing a businesses’ strategy is essential to ensuring the relevance and longevity of your business.
One of the most notable examples is the growing importance of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). While this may seem to be a buzzword on everyone’s lips, integrating ESG into a business’ strategy is becoming absolutely critical as a means to bridge the gap between risks and opportunities. More than ever before being proactive and purposeful about our strategy, integrating ESG is essential to future-proofing businesses and creating meaningful impact beyond profits.
Setting goals to turn your strategy into action
“Ideas are precious, but they’re relatively easy. It’s execution that’s everything”
– John Doerr
A crucial part of refreshing your strategy is setting strategic objectives that will bring your strategy to tangible business benefits.
Ever find that those New Years resolutions are written with all the best intentions but ultimately get stuffed in a drawer only to emerge the following 31st of December for some inspiration for the following year?
Once a strategy has been refreshed, it should not remain idle, only to be dusted off in a year’s time when we need to remind ourselves of our intent. A company’s strategy needs to be lived, breathed, bought into, and most importantly executed.
At Step we use OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) as our goal management methodology of choice to help translate our clients’ strategies into shorter-term goals that can be achieved quarterly or annually.
The ongoing discipline of OKRs enables teams to break down their strategy into bite-size chunks over the year, making significant strides in executing their strategy along the way.
OKRs are an excellent strategy effectiveness tool. Through OKRs, teams are able to reflect quarterly on their progress and truly understand whether their Objectives are actually contributing to their strategy; or whether their strategy itself needs to be revised as teams learn through the OKR journey.
Setting OKRs off the back of a refreshed strategy provides clarity and, most importantly, focus for teams. OKRs act as a north star, providing direction and the clarity to focus on what will really shift the needle in the business.
Refreshing your strategy and setting strategic objectives at the start of every year is crucial to set your business up for success for the year. By reflecting on past performance, understanding market dynamics and emerging trends, and setting OKRs for the year ahead, businesses create a strong foundation, clarity and focus for their teams to turn their strategy into tangible business benefits that will take their business to new heights.