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Levels of Strategic Management

After you’ve decided that strategic management is the right tool for your organization, clarifying what you intend to achieve with the outcome of the planning process is critical to a successful process. Strategic planning means different things to different people, so agreement is critical to reaching the desired end state. Here are four different levels of strategic management, each building on the previous one:

  • Level 1 — Articulated Plan: The plan has established the mission, vision, goals, actions, and key performance indicators (KPIs) for the next 24 to 36 months.

  • Level 2 — Strategic Differentiation: The plan has a strategic focus on delivering a unique value proposition developed from a clear understanding of market position and customer needs.

  • Level 3 — Organizational Engagement: Everyone knows the strategic direction, understands his role, and commits to accountability. An execution/governance process is in place.

  • Level 4 — Organizational Transformation: High-performing team, driven by shared values, consistently drives decision making based on the agreed-upon strategy with data, structure (organizational and process), and systems in place to support the activity.

As you’re getting ready to embark on your strategic management process, pass these levels around to your management group. Gain consensus and agreement on which level your organization is working toward.

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