While 2020 was a year of uncertainty, with the need to react and adapt to the ever-changing COVID restrictions, 2021 sees many organisations looking forward with a certain level of confidence. Yes, January brought new uncertainty and another lockdown, but there is real light at the end of the tunnel, with the start of the roll out of vaccines.

There is no doubt that the world of work has changed, from employee working patterns to customer behaviours, and what we are hearing among our clients and our network shows an appetite for now thinking more longer term – this means reviewing, and potentially resetting strategic plans.

Where do you start?

Firstly, the impact of the pandemic on your organisation needs to be understood – this should cover both the positive and negative impacts, and should consider what that’s likely to mean for the future:

  • How has your value proposition changed?
  • How has customer behaviour and demand changed?
  • How has your operating model changed?
  • How have the revenue and costs been impacted?

A strong strategic plan will have a number of elements within in it including:

  • Vision (Where you are going?
  • Purpose (Why you are going there?)
  • Mission (What business the organisation is in, what an organisation does and for whom)
  • Values (Principles to adhere to along the way)
  • Objectives and financial targets
  • Performance indicators
  • Key deliverables

The review of a strategic plan needs to be done as a whole but, post-pandemic, the ‘value’ of work, what we are working ‘for’, and how we are working – is now more important.

The pandemic highlighted the interrelationships between organisations, customers, communities, employees and other stakeholders. Whether working to create a safe environment for employees, providing products and expertise to the community, or reconfiguring supply chains so they are more sustainable, the pandemic has reiterated the importance of all stakeholders.

For that reason, organisations should reflect on what they stand for. Purpose describes why an organisation does what it does. The emphasis organisations place on Purpose will be imperative to empowering the workforce, reaching out to the wider public and providing collective focus and drive.

Why focus on Purpose?

Having been through the pandemic together, organisations have an opportunity to build or iterate a common sense of purpose with its employees. Employees will want to engage and contribute to the future of the organisation – so reflecting on your Purpose, you gain your employees’ perspectives, as well as those of other stakeholders. This dialogue is hugely important.

Studies have shown that where an organisation’s Purpose aligns with employees’ sense of individual purpose, then employees feel more loyal and are more likely to be advocates of the organisation, and also that purpose-driven organisations outperform their competitors.

As an example, from a Milton Keynes-based organisation, Xero’s Purpose is ‘To make life better for people in small businesses, their advisors and communities around the world’.

To clarify your organisation’s Purpose, and review and reset your strategic plan, the experience and knowledge of a team such as that at Whitecap Consulting is invaluable.

As specialists in helping clients develop strategies in disruptive and uncertain times, our skills and experience can benefit organisations facing strategic and unprecedented challenges.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the changes (positive and negative) caused by the pandemic, and consider what those changes are likely to mean longer term
  • Review your strategic plan – now is the ideal time
  • Invest time to engage with employees and other stakeholders to gain perspectives on your organisation’s Purpose

To discuss how to review or reset strategic plan, call Lal Tawney on 01908 041228 or email [email protected]

Hopefully you’ve found this article useful. If you feel that your strategy development and strategy implementation process would benefit from independent review and challenge, please get in touch.

Established in 2012, Whitecap Consulting is a regional strategy consultancy headquartered in Leeds, with offices in Manchester, Milton Keynes, Bristol and Newcastle. We typically work with boards, executives and investors of predominantly mid-sized organisations with a turnover of c£10m-£300m, helping clients analyse, develop and implement growth strategies. Also, we work with clients across a range of sectors including Financial Services, Technology, FinTech, Outsourcing, Consumer and Retail, Property, Healthcare, Higher Education and Professional Services, and Corporate Finance and PE.