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Creating an effective enterprise growth strategy

ARTICLE | November 10, 2023

Authored by RSM US LLP

Rapid technological progress, shifting customer expectations and market shocks are prompting organizations of all sizes to reevaluate their strategic plans.

Growth opportunities will emerge from shifts in demand, new regulations, and unanticipated social and economic disruption. They may also arise organically from the development of new products, services and capabilities.

In each scenario, the effectiveness of your enterprise strategy can make the difference between a focused path or a stop-and-start journey in which you might never reach your desired destination.

As the global economy transforms, services digitize, and traditional channels give way to new and novel ones, it's important to reassess your enterprise growth strategy—whether that be a turnaround plan or simply rethinking strategic priorities.

RSM has found that most companies benefit from a strategic assessment. This brings in a fresh perspective to challenge the business case for your company's strategic priorities and ensures the company focuses on initiatives that enable growth.

Evaluating your underlying assumptions and plans with an inquisitive outside perspective can help you enhance your strategy, rationalize priorities and align them to your business goals.

How effective is your enterprise growth strategy?

One of the most common course corrections to come out of a strategy assessment is a refocus of an organization’s goals. Many company strategies have been diminished by market shifts. Some companies simply outgrow their strategy as they expand but forget to update it to keep pace with that growth. In other cases, a strategy isn’t well articulated, documented, communicated, governed or managed, so it never really gains traction. Or perhaps the strategy is not supported by financial goals and specific initiatives that the organization is regularly measuring and tracking.

Real-time insights guide management to make the day-to-day decisions that keep the organization on the right track. These insights also allow management to accurately report to executive leadership, who drive higher-level decision making for the organization.

Since enterprise growth typically involves high-stakes decisions and major financial and resource investments, it’s imperative that you develop a cohesive strategy and a plan for measuring the execution of key strategic initiatives. This will ensure that the organization moves toward desired outcomes.

Otherwise, your organization will simply embark on a costly game of trial and error rather than making steady progress toward clearly defined goals.

Getting an external and unbiased perspective can help an organization avoid the risk of investing time and energy in the wrong places. An experienced outsider can see opportunities and potential challenges through a different lens than the one your organization may be using and help ensure you’re asking the right questions to guide your strategic plans.

Refining strategy for better results

Strategy assessments can also enable a business to better understand the maturity of its strategic planning processes. This can help company leaders identify areas where the organization can be strengthened to ensure that it spends time only on what matters.

Even if you feel your organization is already well positioned for future success, improving your enterprise growth strategy can accelerate your company’s growth and confirm the validity of the decisions you’ve made to further support your plans.

Conducting a strategy assessment based on the following five levels of strategic maturity will drive the creation of a uniquely designed maturity model, clarify organizational strengths and identify areas of opportunity for an organization to reach the next level.

Level 1: Initial. Strategy is inconsistently defined and poorly controlled.

Level 2: Reactive. Strategy is characterized for specific projects, and the organization is reactive.

Level 3: Defined. Strategy is characterized for the organization and is proactive.

Level 4: Managed. Enterprise strategy is managed, measured and controlled.

Level 5: Optimizing. The organization is focused on optimizing strategy.

Identifying your organization’s current level of strategic maturity will provide a baseline from which to determine needed improvements. For example, your assessment might find that your company’s strategy is well defined but that the executive team needs a better way to measure, communicate and review its key performance indicators via a strategy dashboard to enable proactive control over strategy execution.

Shaping your growth strategy for tomorrow’s challenges

In our fast-paced global economy, the frequency of challenges that require C-suite decision making will only continue to accelerate. When you have a solid enterprise growth strategy in place, it’s easier to make these types of decisions. A growth strategy that’s clearly defined, documented and communicated will position your organization to rapidly pivot and pursue opportunities.

Whether it leads to minor refinements or to a complete rethinking of your company’s goals and direction, regularly reevaluating your growth strategy is essential to keeping your organization on track for success. RSM’s consultants can add value to your growth strategy assessment by providing the outside perspective necessary to help you look at your organization in new ways. With deep experience in a wide range of industries, we help our clients develop, communicate and execute a strategic vision that will guide them both today and tomorrow.

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This article was written by RSM US LLP and originally appeared on 2023-11-10.
2022 RSM US LLP. All rights reserved.

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