If you want to develop a successful business strategy, you need to put the right people in place when creating a strategic team. This can be challenging and may require a fresh approach, especially if you want to maximise your results in a short period of time. These tips can help to set you on the right track:

1. Get the right people involved

Your strategic leadership team will be pivotal to your strategy success – even in a small business, you just can’t do it alone. It’s important to get the right people involved and ensure you have senior representation from all across your business. Don’t leave the right person on the sidelines! Every director must be on the strategic team because they will be responsible for leading and delivering the strategy within their business unit. As part of this, they must understand their role and responsibilities in the strategy development and rollout.

2. Include your subject matter experts

However, not just directors need to be on your strategic team. You also need three other key groups of internal people:

– Your subject matter experts, who may well be frontline workers. These employees will really know your business, your customers, the everyday challenges your employee’s face and the realities of running your business. They will also know their functional area inside out and be able to provide detailed insight and feedback.
– Your business administrators keep the business running day-to-day and understand everything about its structure, processes, logistics, systems and culture.
– HR and finance have a vital role in supporting the business strategy with the right talent resourcing and the right finance models.

3. Upskill your strategy team

Even business leaders may not understand the ins and outs of business strategy. For this reason, it’s vital to upskill everyone on what a business strategy is and its key components. for example, can your strategy team explain what a KPI is? Do they understand how to use your KPI reporting system? Can they read a dashboard? Can they also define your vision, values, purpose, or mission – if those are already in place? Offer training and development to ensure everyone has the right understanding and skills before the strategy work really begins. A group training session can help to build bonds and subject matter knowledge before you begin the real work!

4. Organise your team

Organise your strategy team by putting the right processes in place. When you’re asking your business leaders and subject matter experts to help drive the business strategy forwards, you’re also pulling them away from their day jobs. Respect their time by making your strategy meetings as well-organised, slick and enjoyable as possible. This helps everyone to feel that their time is being used in the best possible way and removes any frustrations or barriers around poor processes or wasted resources. Many businesses invest in automated strategy systems for areas such as KPI reporting and dashboard creation. These save time, money and errors by monitoring KPI progress and achievement in real-time.

5. Encourage participation

It can be nerve-wracking for more junior members of your team to contribute. Other members may naturally be less extroverted and less inclined to contribute ‘there and then’ to a meeting discussion with forthright directors – especially if they disagree. Set rules that govern fair, open and respectful communication in an environment of trust and support. You actively want your team members to challenge each other and to disagree at times if it means that you reach new ground and stop accepting the status quo.

This approach to recognising different communication styles may also need to allow certain people time to digest discussion topics and contribute their thoughts and ideas afterwards. Let your approach to communication and ideas-sharing evolve over time as the group is embedded, but do ask your group leaders to set the tone when it comes to listening, open dialogue and encouragement of participation.

6. Communicate widely

The ideal model of strategic communication involves a two-way flow across the business. You will naturally have messages to pass downstream, but you also want to encourage your frontline workers to give their feedback and ideas. Try to foster a culture of communication that uses your strategy team and charges them with delivering key messages and asking for feedback and input where necessary. A healthy and open communication culture is a hallmark of a great business and a strong employer. When you have the right values, vision, purpose and culture in place, your employer’s brand greatly strengthens.

7. Flex the team

You may have a core strategy team that drives senior decision-making, but it also helps to flex the team’s members. By doing this, you don’t need to fit a huge number of people into a room for a meeting and find that it doesn’t yield results. Flex your team members by topic and offer different ways to input and collaborate. For example, working sub-groups can focus separately on certain strategic topics and report back to a designated working group as part of a strategy meeting. Again, this helps to keep your meetings lean, effective and purposeful – in line with your new focused business.

Keen to find out more about creating a strategic team in a high-impact way – without stress? Please contact us to find out more.