Smooth strategy execution for a business unit

Leading Media Company​

Our client is one of the forerunners in their industry and had recently shifted from a fixed strategy into a living strategy. Corporate level strategic targets were ambitious and required significant wins in new customer segments. The management team was new as two big business units were merged and was still in the process of finding a new and common way to steer and lead the new organisation towards ambitious goals.

Success criteria

  1. Clarify the must-win battles in the light of new living strategy & long term objectives.

  2. Identify the critical success criteria and objectives.

  3. Develop a management model that helps execute and manage the change that supports the organisation's unique cultural strengths.

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We worked and coached a business unit's management team leading an organisation of more than 900 knowledge workers.

We deep-dived into the current state through one-to-one discussions with each management team member and formed an overview of the current state, business needs, strengths and bottlenecks. 

Based on the current state analysis, we concluded that the living strategy model left much freedom for management team members and business units to interpret strategy differently. As a result, our client faced a typical strategy execution gap: the path from the current operative situation to long-term strategic goals was unclear and undefined. It was somewhat unclear where the business unit needed to succeed and where to focus in light of the new strategy. The lack of choices and clear goals reflected many areas and levels of the organisation, such as planning, prioritisation, budgeting. 

We concluded that the living strategy model left much freedom for management team members and business units to interpret strategy differently.

The designed model contained clear objectives (what), decision-making forums and responsibilities (who), an annual management clock (when) and a tool for taking the new model into the daily leadership activities (how). 

We designed a strategy execution and management model covering the strategic, tactical and operative levels of management. The designed model contained clear objectives (what), decision-making forums and responsibilities (who), an annual management clock (when) and a tool for adjusting the new model into the daily leadership activities (how). 

As a result, we identified that the new strategy required significant re-prioritisation of activities, investments and focus areas. We defined clear goals, success factors and path towards the long-term goals. 

Learning by doing was one of the fundamental principles in the process of developing the model and therefore we piloted the model in real life as part of the design process.. Learnings were used to iterate the model to fit the client-specific needs and culture.

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The systemic approach increased transparency and helped the management team discuss strategic matters, make hard choices, and align the management team and whole organisation to thrive.

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What customers say

!I can definitely recommend Swanlake. Co-operation was very inspiring and we gained significant results in relatively short time. Swanlake combines strong competence with visionary thinking and ability to understand customer needs. They have the courage to challenge customers in a positive way and the capabilities needed to work in an iterative manner in response to upcame changes. This might sound a bit cliché, but all these things were proven during our project. As a result, all of our goals were accomplished - or actually exceeded. Warm thank you!"

— Client feedback