Join the Intrafocus Academy

If you like our free strategy resources then join the Intrafocus Academy for additional material

Strategy Workshop

A three-session workshop based on the Intrafocus Strategic Planning Process (SPP)

Balanced Scorecard Certification

A five-day master class and certificate as a Balanced Scorecard Professional

Strategic Plan Audit/Review

Let us take a look at your strategic plan to check it contains all the elements needed in a good plan


Strategy & KPI Resources

A library of resources for anyone interested in strategic planning and KPI management

Strategic Planning Process (SPP)

Our next generation Strategic Planning Process based on the Balanced Scorecard Methodology

Blog - Intrafocus Insight

New articles published every two weeks, join our mailing list and keep up

Our Customers

Don’t take our word for it, see what the Intrafocus customers have to say.


Spider Impact KPI Software

Intrafocus is the only EMEA authorised reseller of Spider Impact® from Spider Strategies®.

Spider Impact - Video Guides

From getting started all the way through to integrating into back-end systems.

Spider Impact - Documentation

Everything you need to know to set up Spider Impact, configure and import data

My5 KPIs - On your PC, Mac & Phone

Keep your key performance indicators to hand with the My5 KPIs universal application

Contact and Help Desk

If you have any questions or need some help or guidance, you can contact us at any time.

Strategic Themes

Often it is difficult to see the wood for the trees. During a strategic planning cycle, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the many things that need to be done. It is at this point that ‘Strategic Themes’ become useful. Any strategy can usually be broken down into two or three strategic themes. Strategic themes can be thought of as ‘pillars of excellence’, the high level areas that a company or organisation needs to focus on to excel in its mission and fulfil its vision.

They create a framework into which similar strategic objectives can be placed and provide the means to state strategic results that will transform the mission and vision into action. Typically, a strategic theme may be something like ‘Operational Excellence’ or ‘Strategic Partnerships’ or more specifically to the public sector ‘Public Safety’ or ‘Community Engagement’. The themes are cross-functional and cross-organisational in nature; they cut across boundaries and provide a structure the whole organisation can work towards.

A good method frequently used to determine strategic themes in a strategy planning session is to do the following: Imagine yourself in a meeting with your executive management in five years’ time when the company or organisation has over-achieved its strategic goals. Ask the question:

“Looking back, what was it that led to our success?”

Then get the participants to write one or two specific reasons on large post-it stickers. The facilitator can then go around the room taking the post-it stickers, grouping any duplicates and then placing them all on a wall. The result may look something like the (simplified) example below which was used when defining strategic themes for a UK communications company:


Strategic Themes 1

The next step is to look at relationships between the reasons given and to show any connections diagrammatically. The result might look like the diagram below. Here we have three groupings. It then takes a little effort to determine how best to describe the relationships in two or three words, these then become the strategic themes. It is important to note, that when creating labels for things like strategic themes, and this is equally true of strategic objectives, a description or narrative should also be created. This ensures the true meaning of the label is not lost when it is used in other parts of the organisation.

Strategic Themes 2

From the example above, the derived strategic themes were:

Strategic Partnerships
Integrated Services
Company Culture
Don’t be surprised if your strategic themes seem to be obvious choices or things that you think other organisations may be concentrating on as well. There are several themes that come up time and time again. However, the process of creating strategic themes does not stop here. In truth, the previous activity could be described as the easy part! A strategic theme only has real value when a specific result of the strategic theme can be described in the form of a ‘Strategic Result’. It is the strategic result that will differentiate you from your competition.

So using the example above, let’s take the strategic theme ‘Integrated Services’ and look at the strategic result as applied to the UK Communications company:

“We are recognised as the market leader in the provision of integrated communications and television services”

So we can see that in this case the result is very specific to the combined communications and television industry. It also provides a framework for the whole company to work with when delivering these services.

Strategic themes provide another tool to take a company or organisation strategy and break it down into manageable parts. It provides a logical structure within which objectives, measures and initiatives can be allocated to align strategy to the company or organisation vision.