AJC Playbook: How do we create a Strategic Roadmap Leading to our Vision?

Once your free-flowing brainstorming session time is over, it is time to confirm your Strategy and organize your Strategic Roadmap.  The Strategy will consider the business you are in (or want to be in) from your earlier vision, mission, values and growth goals; and determine how your organization will thrive in that business. Historically, we would have said that Strategy is how your organization “wins” in the market.

However, new thought leadership on The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek would have us consider the bigger picture – “winning” sounds like there is an end result – however a truly sustainable business continues in perpetuity. Thus, “thrive” is the better verb to consider when thinking about a strategic roadmap.

Look at the various Strategic ideas from the previous discussion. Which are redundant or similar? Group those together (helpful if they are on stickies). Once the groups are together, review them to ensure that the groups help you realize your vision and align to your mission and values, as well as your growth goals. Anything that does not must be discarded. Those which are borderline can be set to the side for now. The updated groupings should be strategic ideas that definitely align with realizing your  vision of the future.

Now it is time to sequence these groups of ideas. What are the most foundational items? What has dependencies and must come after something else? Is there anything else needed immediately to move towards the next big grouping of items? Do these groupings definitively get you to your vision of the future? If not, what is missing? Reconsider the borderline groups – do they fit into realizing the vision now that the more firm areas are placed?

This activity begins the sequencing of your Strategic ideas. We recommend developing  a high-level Strategic Roadmap to get to your stated Vision of the future. This can be done in general time frames like years and/or quarters, and some can overlap. The details are not as critical for a longer-term path because things will change and mapping specific timelines for initiatives for beyond ~6-9 months is a waste of time.

At the end of this time, you should have a high level Strategic Roadmap that is firmly grounded in the current state for your organization and its place in the world, that leads you to your future Vision. The duration is not as important as the logical sequencing of events to get to your Vision, though a typical Roadmap would be 3-5 years in duration.

Working Genius Note – Strategic Roadmap

Discernment geniuses should feel completely in their element with the Strategic Roadmap planning and sequencing process. Their ability to understand intuitively how a situation fits in the broader picture, and where ideas are going to “work,” especially if there are dependencies or gaps in the timeline, will help the team home in on a robust plan.

There will still be some Invention required here, especially to close any gaps in the road to the Vision, and even Wonderers may find energy in surmising about whether those gaps exist. Developing the Strategic Roadmap, however, is still a 20-thousand-foot activity, and pulling it down into tactics, or even trying to rally before it is fully developed, may derail the process.

Remember, the general time frames are years and quarters, not weeks or even months. Galvanizers, Enablement and Tenacity team members will need to downplay those geniuses and put on their higher level genius hats and/or rely on others to complete this exercise.

Read the previous article in our AJC Playbook Series: What’s the best strategy for us?

Read the next in our AJC Playbook Series: How to Rally the Team and Avoid Silos?

Link back to AJC Playbook: Sharing our Methodology (and Running Table of Contents)