The Strategic Roadmap: Mapping Your Vision

You feel pressured, you are at a loss trying to lead your people to do things in a proper way. Everything felt like a huge mess. There was no sense of standardization in getting work done. Why do you hear that person A uses method A to do something, while person B who does the same thing but uses method B instead? As if knowing that their execution methods are not enough to give you such a big headache, it gets worse when you see the outcome for yourself – nothing like what you expected. And that’s in a bad way. Where’s the direction? Why doesn't everyone walk in a straight line? Why can’t they get it done the way you want it to be? Are their preferences and goals even aligned with yours anymore?
You realize that this problem mainly occurs when dealing with your lower-level people. The top-level management seemed to be doing fine because you can communicate your needs and wants directly to them. But the bigger question is are they able to convey your needs and wants to their subordinates for execution? They have no strategy in this regard. The top management tends to micro-manage their subordinates. They couldn’t communicate everything clearly. As a result, the subordinates have to keep asking questions. Some do not even bother asking questions and end up doing things wrongly. To make matters worse, they do ask questions but still couldn't complete the task correctly! Were they not able to understand well? Or were they just confused? This makes you begin to wonder how you could tackle this problem.
You feel like you have set out enough of your business’ principles clearly for your people to understand. You have your vision, mission, even core values all hung up nicely on the wall of your office. All of this is prepared based on what you learned from online communities, that may be from any seminar or training sessions. You get inspired from posts you see on Facebook, you print out quotes that make sense to you to be fitted in as your company’s core values. You believe that this will motivate your people to follow and exhibit good working behaviour. Okay, great. After a while no one cared. You then got help from a marketer or public relations expert to help you write a proper version of the vision, mission, and core values that were copied from somewhere else. Is this approach actually working well for your business? How accurate do they fit your strategies?
Making millions a year, Owen lives a very comfortable life, with his business being in the safe zone. It was too safe that Owen was starting to feel like something was missing – the X-factor that gives satisfaction to him in running a business. He wanted more success. More challenges. Well, it was high time for him to move his business on to the next level.
His existing business was run in a semi-auto manner. His managers were very capable of handling his business. The business was also performing well, sales were satisfactory. Profits? They were there, not a problem too. Everything was too… safe. Because of this, Owen decided to attend a seminar he found from advertisements he saw online. His aim was to motivate his managers towards a successful entrepreneur mindset. So, he attended, he learnt, he motivated. He used what he learned to motivate his managers to boost their mindset, including the way the trainer talked and stories that inspired him – it is a clever move to copy and paste, hoping to move towards the achievement of growth and success together. However, the feeling is not the same as at the seminar, The managers did not respond well to this as there was no outcome, their mindset was still stagnant just like before Owen’s efforts. This did not stop Owen from trying. He then attended the seminar one more time to get a better grasp of the knowledge and feeling needed to motivate his people. To his luck, Owen came across a high-ticket entrepreneurs seminar and then joined them in a business entrepreneurship meeting. Here, Owen learnt how to triple his income, learned to raise funds, and write his business’ vision and mission. He had obtained all the necessary templates to help him, awesome! He found it so useful that he decided to bring his managers to join the seminars and meetings. Somehow, it did not last in the long run. After one year, the manager still resigned. Their mindsets were still not on the same level.
Owen then appointed a trainer to help implement all the necessary knowledge into his business. Owen was once again, surprised with disappointment, as the trainer said he was not responsible to consult anyone. He was only in charge of teaching theoretical knowledge. Consultation prices are too high. “What should I do now? Change must be done!” Owen thought to himself. He got lucky one more time as he was approached by a retired CFO that offered to coach him in transforming the company in just a few simple steps. It was Owen's last resort. He took up the offer.
Every business must have its own goals, where these businesses will have its own method of achieving their goals. This is known as the ‘business strategy’. Through a set of decisions and actions needed to be taken to accomplish the business goals, a business strategy plays an essential role in every business. A company with a strong business strategy could give them a competitive advantage in the market. The strategy of a business lies above the core values of the business, which is followed by the goals, mission, and the vision. This means that the strategy actually makes up a significant part in the pathway of a business in finally achieving its vision.
Having a good, well-planned strategy actually matters a lot to a business. This could be achieved by having a structured Strategic Roadmap (SRM). There is a misconception that good strategies are equivalent to having change or transformation; but in fact, a good strategy depends on how you see the whole picture and plan out its direction. You should have a clear view of what your company wants to achieve, by when it should be achieved, and how it should be achieved. With a strategy in mind, you can then jump to the second phase that is by using SWOT analysis to transform these strategies. The SWOT analysis, which will be further discussed in previous Blog "Having an Analytic View of Your Profit with S.W.O.T" , gives the company an analysis on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats which determines if the strategy will be feasible or not.

The major component SRM consists of four major dimensions: Financial Strategy, People Strategy, Customer Strategy, and Internal Strategy.

Financial Strategy (FS)

The strategy that outlines how the business intends to finance its overall operations to allow goals as of now, and in the future to be met. Generally, this strategy provides a summary of revenue, profit or costing as well as the course of actions to be taken to achieve these goals.

People Strategy (PS)

A good people strategy is when the company makes its approach towards growth with its employees clear, which makes sure every level of employee knows what is their responsibility to improve business performance, develop the cultures that foster innovation, flexibility and competitive advantage. As long as the strategy involves the people in the company, it will be placed under this dimension of SRM. For instance, training, staffing, compensation, performance measurement, rewards, and even promotion strategies. 

Customer Strategy (CS)

With customer experience being one of the biggest priorities of every business, it is important how your customers perceive your product and services . You need to know what has to be done to retain your customers and build better relationships with them. In other words, the ability of fully understanding your customer's perception is crucial in setting out a customer strategy.

Internal Strategy (IS)

Your company’s internal growth is very important as well, as it determines the extent to which you are capable to execute external strategies efficiently. Internal strategies utilise your available internal resources to move towards development and efficiency, such as to develop new products, increase production rate, or even conduct better marketing procedures.
To enhance your SRM, use a DASHBOARD to visualise things clearer for you and your people. Each four strategies above shall intercept with their respective Subject, Goal, and Indicators. However, do not mistake a goal with strategy. Goals tend to be a broad primary outcome, whereby to achieve them, you need your STRATEGY. With this dashboard, you could further use it to create your Objective and Key Results (OKR) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) – see how one simple dashboard could be used for so many purposes!
Now that you know the components of a SRM, it is time to learn how you can prepare one by yourself. Known as the Strategy RoadMapping™, this process helps bosses to think as the best version of themselves by determining both what NEEDS and DOES NOT NEED to be done. Of course, focusing on the right thing is important, but 80% of your focus must be placed on your STRATEGY, i.e. the tasks that aligns with your goals! So, with Strategy RoadMapping™, you are constructing a map from the vision to task, and breaking down the goals of your company to your people.
Strategy RoadMapping™ Elicitation  
1. VISION elicitation:
    1.1 What is your purpose?
    1.2 What is your problem?
    1.3 What would the world be like without the problem?

2. MISSION elicitation:
     2.1 What do you do?
     2.2 How do you do it?
     2.3 Whom do you do it for?
     2.4 What value are you bringing?

3. GOAL elicitation in context of FS, PS, CS, IS:
    3.1 How is it possible that we don’t have ____ goal now in the context of _____?
    3.2 What specifically do you want in the context of ____?
    3.3 Where are you now?
    3.4 What will this outcome get for you or allow you to do?
    3.5 What do you have now, and what do you need to get your outcome?
    3.6 Have you ever had or done this before?
    3.7 Do you know anyone who has?
    3.8 For what purpose do you want this?
    3.9 What will you gain or lose if you have it?
    3.10 What will happen if you get it?
    3.11 What won’t happen if you get it?
    3.12 What will happen if you don’t get it?
    3.13 What won’t happen if you don’t get it?

4. STRATEGY SUBJECT elicitation in context of FS, PS, CS, IS:
    4.1 What lets you know it was time to achieve the ____ goal?
    4.2 When did you begin deciding?
    4.3 How do you know it is time to begin ____?
    4.4 What do you do in order to ____? 
    4.5 How do you know if you have achieved something?
    4.6 How do you know (or what lets you know) that you have achieved something fully?

5. INDICATOR elicitation in context of FS, PS, CS, IS:
    5.1 What lets you measure goals in the context of ______?
    5.2 How do you measure goals in the context of ______?
With the above method, maybe you will start feeling that it is insufficient for you to plan your company’s strategy. If you feel that way, then I suggest you implement a SWOT analysis into your strategy-planning process, to have a better knowledge of your company’s position so that you could make better decisions. The SWOT analysis will help determine if your company’s planned strategies are feasible; if not, then changes need to be made.
“How am I supposed to plan for a strategy if I do not know my company’s core values in the first place?! Or maybe, we do, but they just do not complement each other”. Now, don’t you worry about that because I have also given a comprehensive guideline in my book "NEXT LEVEL BOSS - THE SECRETS", about finding your value and your company’s core value. Follow this guide closely and I can guarantee that it will help you in aligning everyone’s core values in the company. It even makes your business stronger as a team, thus helping you in setting out better strategies.
Other than that, maybe you will start to wonder how many goals should you have for your strategy. When I was working with some fresh entrepreneurs, we used to start with just one goal to make things easier, and then have maximum three best practices in place. I would also recommend using a Funding Road Map (FRM), which is explained in NEXT LEVEL BOSS - THE SECRETS. Using FRM together with SRM would be able to motivate your staff even better! The SRM is indeed a pretty lengthy process, so it is important for you to get your key members working together with you in the entire process from A to Z. Remember to keep it confidential between you and your first level management when it comes to your profitability.
With the CFO’s help, Owen has learnt extensively about the SRM. He worked together with his top management to construct a well-defined SRM with the Strategy RoadMapping™ method. And to his excitement, it showed positive results! His dreams of moving on to the next level of business became a reality when he managed to sell his company to M&As ventures at a really good price. With that success, Owen then retired, with his heart at ease. With the CFO’s intensive training, Owen too, became highly knowledgeable on planning business strategies. With that, he became a motivational speaker, guiding one conflicting business to another – where he once upon a time, was in their shoes as well.
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