Why an open strategy approach is key today. More and more companies are following the call to create sustainable societal value beyond profit. They consciously adopt a societal role and responsibility to make a contribution for a better tomorrow that serves all of us, including our planet. The more firms serve a purpose relevant to all of us, the more their strategies become relevant to all of us. That’s why purpose-driven organizations need to move to an “open strategy approach.”
It’s about turning “walls into bridges.” Most companies still follow a top-down approach in strategy-making. That implies keeping their strategy discussions among a few top managers (and consultants) behind closed boardroom walls, in fear of risking losing competitive advantage. To adopt an open strategy approach means literally to open up your boardroom doors and engaging in a high-quality and systematic strategy dialogue process with your most relevant stakeholders. It allows you to bridge and balance different perspectives, interests, backgrounds, hierarchy levels, departments, functions, geographies, demographics, cultures, religions, etc. This is fueling sustainable avenues and decisions accepted by all stakeholders.
6 things to consider when adopting an open strategy approach. To transform from a top-down to a co-creative open strategy process, the following six success factors might be beneficial for you to consider – no matter if we are talking an entire organization, a department, a team or a start-up:
How your organization benefits from an open strategy process. The firms who invested time, energy, competence and resources to open up their strategy process report of speeding up strategy implementation and deepening the adoption throughout the whole organization. Above that, strategic decisions are better informed, more sustainable and robust. Last but not least, as a result of investing in a shared understanding and commitment about the strategy, more purposeful collaboration energies were released. This is mirrored in increases of employee engagement scores, in some cases up to double-digit percentages.
To open up your strategy process is not the risk – not doing it, is. Because only collectives enable companies to learn fast enough to keep track with the increasing pace of emerging new knowledge, and changing habits, needs and demands in today’s business world. But even more importantly, because shifting towards a social company purpose demands a shift towards a social strategy process to be effective and credible. So don’t be afraid to open your doors, turn company walls into bridges, and invite your stakeholders to bring your purpose to life together. Enabling a high-quality connectivity among all stakeholders has become probably the most important source of competitive advantage in today’s ecosystem economy.
About the author:
Dr. Eva Bilhuber Galli, Founder and Managing Partner of Human Facts AG leads since 2009 her boutique management consultancy based in Switzerland with a focus on co-creative multi-stakeholder engagement processes and partnering leadership excellence. She received her PhD in strategic management at University of St. Gallen.