Innovation of Business

and the
Business of Innovation™
 
Toolkit - Strategy


        Operations InnoKit™

Integrated Strategy

The Team’s Edge

Better Business Choices

 

With Example 

 The Colorado Innovation Summit


Preview: Imagine you are planning to climb Mt. Everest. For climbers, the goal is clear - Reach the top and return safely. That takes both detailed planning and funding for a major expedition. For businesses, the overall goal is equally obvious - Create durable wealth. This “expedition” is a dynamic system for making and keeping satisfied customers, at a profit, over time, in a competitive environment.

The devil, of course, lies in the details. Businesses need conscious, proactive choices of what specific goals to pursue plus accurate decisions on how to reach their goals. Then they need to structure their expedition for high performance. Every business plan contains decisions, and every decision impacts operations at multiple levels.

This Kit has an acronym: GOSPA: Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Plans, Actions. Note that this is an hierarchy. Goals are long term, objectives near term. Strategies implement objectives. Not goals, but steps toward goals.

Strategizing is a key step in both leadership and innovation. The practical, actionable, strategic process used here can be applied at many levels of organizations, including companies, businesses, divisions, business units, departments, programs, projects, and events. The underlying tool is very flexible.

InnoKits are to innovation
as engineering is to architecture.

Logical homework to be done before planning or acting.

Innovators's Edge offers several ToolKits™ for wealth creation and decision making for all sizes and types of investment. The series includes: Identity (product and business), Strategy, Culture, Concept, Communication, Technology Transfer, and Market.

An Integrated Strategy creates directions and defines success for any business from corporation to product team. “Business” here includes teams, departments, businesses, labs, mpanies, government agencies, corporations, and professional associations. “Product” includes ideas, technologies, products (tangible or intangible, software or hardware), services, team capabilities, facilities, events, and investment opportunities. Internal products may be as important to the bottom line as commercial products.

To enable clear interactions, consider this suite of definitions.

Language of Strategy

Definitions that enable productivity.

Integrated Strategy Analysis™: Establishment of long term goals, near term objectives as steps toward goals, strategies as methods for achieving goals, and an integrated strategy as the chosen suite of methods for a plan period. To be strategic, adopt a language of strategy.

Strategic: Consciously connecting every action to established and objectives, and then choosing actions that are the best possible methods to reach those goals.

Strategize: To find an optimum method to reach a goal or objective

Strategist: One who develops, communicates, and gains buy in to strategies.

Goal: Durable strategic directions. Changing goals implies substantial changes in business identity, operations, and culture.

Objective: A clearly defined, achievable, assignable, time-able, and measurable near term result toward which to work. A near term element of a goal. Objectives change with plan period.

Strategy: A specific method for achieving a goal, reaching an objective, or meeting a need. The science of managing resources to reach goals over time by successfully achieving near term objectives.

Plan: Summary of results to achieve, plus details of methods and timing for accomplishing those results.

Action: Execution of a strategy or tactic.

Business model: An overall guiding strategy.

Core strategy: A category of methods (e.g., marketing) that provides strategic direction, yet will evolve over time.

Integrated Strategy:  A tightly linked suite of methods, connected, timed, and coordinated to achieve a specific set of objectives. Initiatives are temporary. Value chains, supply chains, and distribution chains endure. Everything from business launch to minor projects are completed via integrated strategies.

The concept of “strategy” may be generalized to anything which helps to achieve an objective.

Process: A method of doing something, generally involving a number of steps or operations.
Tool: Anything that serves as a means to a desired end result.
Device: A tangible, physical means to achieve a desired result.
Approach: An intangible, conceptual means to achieve an objective.
People (as strategies): Those who can meet a need or reach an objective. Individuals and teams that individually and/or collectively meet needs and reach objectives.
Tactic: A process or resource managed by a strategy to achieve an objective.

Strategy InnoKit™: Development of a strong, positive, powerful, and marketable strategic focus for a business or team. Here, products are elements of businesses. Product development can be tactical or strategic.

Value Promise: Powerful, proactive decisions for designing and operating a business in competitive markets, over time, at a profit.

Objectives of Strategy Analysis include:

Clarity: Understanding of the integrated goals, objectives, and strategies of a business or function of the business. Both the “Why?” and “How?” of the business. “Why?” is defined by goals and objectives. “How?” is defined by strategies, integrated strategies, and tactics. This Pre-Planning ToolKit develops a “Why?” first – the strategic approach. The alternative is a tactical approach.

Nested Operations:  Integrated Strategies at management corporate levels set context for businesses which set context for teams. Strategy can guide performance at every level in context of the goals and objectives of higher levels.

Delegation and Resourcing: Implementing strategies requires investments in people and resources. Gaining resources benefits Innovation Analysis from the Innovation ToolKit. Results include language for persuading investment (of a strategy).

Time line: Organization of work can be mapped once strategies are sequenced and teams have authority to act.

Levels of Application: The corporation sets context for business sets context for business lines set context for programs set context for projects sets context for individual actions.

Benefits: The Operations ToolKit™ helps turn normal businesses into strategic businesses. The process is an exercise in leadership that sets directions, clarifies expectations, simplifies planning, enhances collaboration, accelerates productivity, and improves the odds of success at every level of the business.

Acceleration: Consistent improvement in the time, risks, and costs required to reach objectives. Consistent strategic momentum in every part of the business.

Focus: Clear sense of where to lead the business as a whole (corporate goals) and thus where to lead each part of the business (nested team goals).

Decisiveness: Business decisions enabled by a context of known and agreed strategic directions. Major and minor decisions. Personal, team, and corporate decisions.

Shared Vision: Clarity of responsibility and mandate. Clear knowledge of expectations for each business entity in each plan period. Clear understanding of delegation and resource provision.

Productivity: Efficiency and effectiveness based on a strategic approach as opposed to the waste, misdirection, and reworking of a tactical approach.

Marketplace Trust: Inspired both inside the company and in the marketplace by clearly conveyed choices of goals and organized operations delivering progress toward those goals.

Initiative: Individuals and teams able to innovate processes and optimize their performance without direction or involvement of higher management. Ability to move aggressively because strategic decisions have been made.

Strategic Mindset: Teams that respond to change with strategy rather than tactical fixes. Sense of the big picture and their place in it.

Required Steps: When the team does not have sufficient knowledge for final decisions, a focus for market research and other decision processes needed to complete the Integrated Strategy.

Benefits to Participants: Operations Pre-Planning™ instills a strategic mindset. Failures of business result from tactical approaches that lead to mistaken investment and errors of expectations.

Confidence: Clear understanding of how to structure and lead business to turn Strategic Identity from vision into reality. Awareness of both issues to be resolved and ways to address those issues.

Leadership: Greater capacity to initiate change through influence. (“Influence” here implies potential affects on both the character and actions of people and organizations.)

Strategic Mindset: Strong tendency to first ask, “Why?” and move to “How?” only when goals and objectives have been identified and verified.

Innovation Mindset: Proactive intention to seek new and better ways to meet objectives.

Better Decision Making: Knowledge and experience with tools and processes for making operational decisions.

Decision making: Facilitated brainstorming to enable clear decisions by an empowered team on the following topics:

Goals: Long term desired end results toward which the business chooses to work.

Broad ranges of concepts are reduced to a few very important intentions.

Objectives: Short term desired results to be achieved within a plan period.

Each goal is clearly defined by its objective.

Strategies: Methods for reaching goals by achieving objectives.

Success of each objective depends on the processes that could be used.

Reality Check 1: Implementation of each strategy requires resources.

Integrated Strategy: The formally chosen particular suite of strategies for a plan period.

Reality Check 2: The suite of strategies is checked again for reality. Integrated strategies are more powerful, yet require more resources.

Many business and marketing plans contain sizable sections on reality checks and measurable objectives. Financial projections, market projections, studies on trends in technology and competition, and more are all used to determine what objectives make sense and estimate what the business’s reality will actually be during the plan period.

Reporting: Decisions are captured and extended in several ways:

Goals: Defined as clear strategic directions named with nouns (results, not processes).

Strategies: Choice and clarification of methods for reaching chosen objectives. Each is named with a noun and defined as a specific process. The list of potential strategies can be extensive. Reality checks to verify ability to implement each strategy.

Goal Characterization: Details from brainstorming enable characterization of the goals in three ways:
Definition of the Goal: A single compact, memorable statement

Statements of Objectives: Sentences like, “N% more (objective) by (specific date).”

Statements of Completion: Sentences that begin with, “We know we’ve achieved (objective) when… “

Objectives: Augmentation, prioritization, and clarification of draft objectives to focus on specific targets for the next plan period.

Integrated Strategy: Full documentation of goals, objectives, and choices of a suite of strategies for this plan period. Reality check on the full suite of strategies.

At this point, the Integrated Strategy is almost a plan. It coordinates a suite of actions to further one or more high-level goals by achieving a suite of objectives. It connects actions to goals via measurable, time-able objectives. Measurements during and after action will determine whether the actions worked as intended. Though less complete than plans, many Integrated Strategies serve as plans. Indeed, results set structure for formal program and project management.

Process:

Phase I: Goals brainstorming.2 hours.

              Facilitator goes to another room, organizes results, presents the Team. 2 hours

 Team then gains a second opportunity to judge goals and number of goals.

Phase 2: Objectives brainstorming

Processes focus results.

Phase 3: Team brainstorms strategies for reaching each goal.

How will the team implement the strategy

Phase 4: Reality Check:

 Does Team have the skills, organization, funding, etc. for each action?

Phase 5: Team develops a time line. Orders strategies for importance and timing.

Phase 6. Reality Check: Can the team implement the suite of

Phase II: Confirmation of goals and selection of objectives. Brainstorming and description of possible strategies with initial reality checks.

Phase III: Selection and confirmation of the integrated strategy for a plan year. Logical extensions include development of an integrated timeline and budget, then delegation of responsibilities.

 

Example Integrated Strategy™

Colorado Innovation Summit™

 

Strategies are methods for achieving goals. Goals set directions; objectives determine strategies; and strategies define actions. Planning confirms costs.

 

Anything that helps achieve a goal, reach an objective, or meet a need can be viewed as a strategy. People, teams, businesses, departments, companies, products, services, and processes can all be viewed as strategies.

Good strategies reduce time, cost, and frustration while building morale and energy by getting things done right the first time. That means that strategies need to be fresh, innovative, timely, and fully aligned on goals.

The Summit team uses the following strategies, updated annually. Definitions are provided below. Details of tactics are provided in the Project Management System.

6 goals

37 objectives

6 categories of strategies

35 distinct strategies

200+ tactics (not shown)

Strategic Marketing  (Goal)

  • Advisors
  • Business Pre-Planning™  (objective)
  • Operations Pre-Planning™
  • Pricing
  • After-Actions Analysis

Project & Financial Management

  • Management
  • Contract Project Management
  • Budgeting
  • Cash Management

Recruiting

  • Platinum and Gold Sponsors
  • Speakers
  • Media Sponsors
  • Internal Champions
  • Exhibitors
  • Silver Sponsors (non-profits)
  • Appreciation

Program

  • Management
  • Speaker Agenda
  • Content Introductions
  • Choreography

Attendance

  • Website Marketing
  • Silver Sponsor Program
  • Direct Sales
  • Public Relations
  • Calendar Postings
  • E-Marketing (e-mail)
  • Brochures/Flyers
  • Advertising

Conference

  • Venue / Facilities
  • Sponsor Visibility
  • Exhibition
  • Registration
  • Handouts
  • Evaluations
  • Receptions

 

Strategy Definitions: The strategies named above are defined briefly here.

The Summit Strategic Checklist (a separate project-management document) designs each strategy in detail terms of goals focus, objectives to be reached, benefits to deliver, and tactics to implement in any plan year.

The Summit will implement strategies in six core categories.

Business Innovation: Definition and design of The Summit as a business offering several products and serving several distinct “customers.”

Project and Financial Management: Processes for enabling business decisions and accelerating performance with accurate knowledge of current and projected project status, financial assets, and liabilities.

Recruiting: Targeting, persuading, and leveraging of sources of funding, in-kind work, marketing assistance, speakers, exhibitors, and other supporters of the mission of The Summit.

Attendance: Application of an integrated marketing strategy for achieving both attendance and revenue goals.

Conference: Definition and management of logistics required to stage a powerful venue for education and networking that satisfies our audience, at a profit.

Program: Focusing of people and content to deliver powerful knowledge and networking in a professional and elegant fashion.

Category definitions (above) create context for definitions of specific strategies (below).

Strategic Pre-Planning: Definition and design of The Summit as a business offering several products and serving several distinct “customers.

  • Advisors: Recruiting and leveraging the wisdom of a board of highly qualified business experts willing to advise Summit developers during design and implementation stages.
  • Business Pre-Planning™: Development of a strong, positive, multi-faceted vision made up of decisions on features, functions, customers to serve, needs to meet, benefits to provide, uniqueness to develop, mission, and desired perceptions. Includes choosing value promises, name, logo, and slogan as the core of a powerful, durable brand.
  • Operations Pre-Planning™: Development of an integrated strategy based on clear, explicit choices of long term goals, plan-year objectives, and a suite of tightly linked strategies for reaching the objectives within resource constraints.
  • Pricing: Use of fees and discounts to optimize sponsorships, attendance, exhibits, and profits.
  • After-Action Analysis: Gather lessons learned to optimize future performance and prepare for final sponsor communications.

Project and Financial Management: Processes for enabling business decisions and accelerating performance with accurate knowledge of current and projected project status, financial assets, and liabilities.

  • Project Management: Application of processes for satisfying stakeholders through achievement of desired results that meet or exceed agreed requirements.
  • Budgeting: Enable financial management by maintaining best estimates of costs and revenues.
  • Cash Management: Create appropriate bank accounts, accept payments, and pay bills.
  • Contract Management: Establish and apply procedures for contracting and managing terms of contracts for all

Recruiting: Targeting, persuading, and leveraging of sources of funding, in-kind work, marketing assistance, speakers, exhibitors, and other supporters of the mission of The Summit.

  • Platinum and Gold Sponsors: Use of sales tactics to gain cash or in-kind support of The Summit from appropriate companies.
  • Speakers and Moderators: Direct contact to persuade high-profile, highly qualified speakers to participate within the conference theme and the focus of the established agenda.
  • Silver Sponsors: Use of sales tactics to gain commitments by non-profit organizations to agree to market The Summit to their mailing lists.
  • Media Sponsors: Use of sales tactics to gain commitments from various media to promote The Summit in their venues.
  • Exhibitors: Use of sales tactics to gain participation of desirable exhibitors to augment the value of the conference.
  • Internal Champions: Marketing and sales to senior managers of innovative companies and federal labs to convince them to market The Summit internally to their innovators and innovation managers.
  • Appreciation: Thank you messages to all sponsors, speakers, moderators, exhibitors, champions, and volunteers.

Program: Focusing of people and content to deliver powerful knowledge and networking in a professional and elegant fashion.

  • Agenda Management: Detailed layout and management of the conference program in terms of events, timing, people, and focus to deliver powerful content and high value to the audience.
  • Content Management: Direct work with speakers and moderator of each panel to ensure distinctive yet complimentary value from each speaker in a panel. Work across panels to ensure distinctive, complimentary value from each panel of the program.
  • Speaker Introductions: Delight the audience with non-standard speaker introductions that bring in personality and human qualities to compliment presentation of credentials in the handout.
  • Choreography: Design and manage the flow of events to deliver a truly powerful conference done with elegance perceived by the audience to be almost effortless.

Attendance: Application of an integrated marketing strategy for achieving both attendance and revenue goals.

  • Website Marketing: Development and use of a substantial website to promote The Summit, inform site visitors, and develop brands. Development of links from other websites to attract viewers to The Summit’s site.
  • Silver-Sponsor Program: Marketing through participating non-profit organizations to their membership and contacts.
  • Direct Sales: Marketing by phone, with e-mail follow-up, to target registrants on specific contact lists. Sales of individual tickets and groups.
  • Public Relations: Use of unpaid media coverage to initiate and maintain mutually beneficial relationships between The Summit and the publics on which its success depends.
  • Calendar Postings: Use of media and electronic calendars hosted by a very wide variety of organizations to announce The Summit and draw visitors to www.InnovationSummit.com.
  • E-Marketing (e-mail): Delivery of advertising by e-mail.
  • Brochures, flyers: Design and production of persuasive communications in both hardcopy and electronic forms using results of strategic and product marketing.
  • Advertising: Development and use of formal, paid ads in various media venues to achieve Summit goals by conveying messages to target audiences.

Conference: Definition and management of logistics required to stage a powerful venue for education and networking that satisfies our audience, at a profit.

  • Venue and Facilities: Selection and management of all elements required to stage a top-quality conference. (See also: Program)
  • Sponsor Visibility: Honor commitments to sponsors by delivering on all visibility promises.
  • Exhibit Management: Design and management of a top-quality exhibit, leveraging the character of the venue, that adds significant and distinctive value to the conference.
  • Registration: Day-of-event check-in to confirm payment and deliver name badge, handouts, and other information to paid attendees, speakers, exhibitors, and guests.
  • Handouts: Professional planning, formatting, reproduction, and delivery of copies of slides, biographies, articles, and other information of use to attendees.
  • Evaluations: Gathering of opinions and recommendations of attendees regarding The Summit, topics, speakers, and other events of the day.
  • Receptions: Design, development, and management of a top-quality networking venue, leveraging the character of the venue, that adds significant and distinctive value to the conference. Each reception is a project unto itself.


 


 



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