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From Grand strategy to digital strategy: it's an end-to-end process

Organisations are struggling with their strategy. And that's a problem, because without a clearly supported strategy, digital transformation can never be successful.

A strategy is an end-to-end process to make better, informed decisions that improve an organisation's performance. The strategy process starts with the need to improve the organisation and ends with the improvement achieved.

Strategy is an end-to-end process

It helps to see strategy as an end-to-end process and not as a document, a party of management or something too vague to work with.

In their book Fad-free Strategy, authors Daniel Deneffe and Herman Vantrappen advocate splitting the (business) strategy process into a 'grand strategy' and an 'operational strategy'.

Grand strategy for top management

Top management has the important task of developing a 'grand strategy'. This is a set of intentions and hypotheses to achieve a competitive position as an organisation.

A grand strategy is not yet very concrete and not always equipped with measurable indicators. Nor does it need to be yet. It sets the big picture: do we enter a new country with our product, do we find a new application for our service, are we going to double our turnover with innovation.

Operational strategy tests the 'Grand strategy'

An operational strategy follows the 'Grand strategy'. The hypotheses and intentions are further examined and accepted, fleshed out, modified or rejected.

So there is a feedback from operational strategy to 'grand strategy'. With this, there is at least a connection between senior and middle management and strategic professionals.

From 'Grand strategy' to digital strategy
From 'Grand strategy' to digital strategy

From Business strategy to executable strategy

The 'Grand strategy' and the 'Operational strategy' together form the 'Business strategy' Senior management owns the business strategy, supported by middle management and strategic professionals.

The business strategy must then be translated into a series of concrete strategies that the professionals in the organisation can use on a daily basis. The results of those concrete strategies are also fed back into the operational strategy and the business strategy in general.

Digital strategy follows from business strategy

A digital strategy always follows from a business strategy. Buying digital tools and then using them is not a strategy! "A tool with a fool is still a fool!"

A digital strategy always consists of a goal, a problem that stands in the way of achieving the goal and the way to eliminate that problem. That is the necessary connection to the business strategy.

That connection allows you to seek support from senior management, actively contribute to a better organisation and measure concretely what is going well and what can be improved.

Create a digital strategy in 12 steps

A digital strategy is a preconceived plan that identifies how the organisation can better achieve organisational goals with the optimal use of digital assets.

To help organisations with their digital strategy, TIMAF developed the digital strategy game that allows you to create a digital strategy in 12 steps.

You can apply this game directly in a workshop with colleagues, customers and suppliers.

The 12 steps of the digital strategy game have been brought together on a poster.

You can request the free Digital Strategy poster and share it with your colleagues.

Webinar: The role of strategy in digital transformation

Friday 23 June 2023 Erik Hartman will update you on the role of strategy in digital transformation using a case study.

You will be taken step by step in setting up a digital strategy and there will be plenty of room for interaction and questions with the participants.

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