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Elate puts everything you need to build your Strategic Plan right at your fingertips. From setting your long-term vision and annual goals to tracking quarterly objectives, it’s never been easier to create a plan that helps you reach your goals.
Rather than working out of dozens of spreadsheets or endless presentations, Elate helps you build a simple, intuitive plan that can be easily shared with team members.
Strategic Planning has been around for decades. From its inception in the 1960s as a way for companies to build and implement strategies to drive growth and scale in a sustainable way, the idea of Strategic Planning isn't new. However, over the past few years Strategic Planning has gone through a revitalization.
This renewed focus in Strategic Planning has been led by strategy and operations leaders. In fact, it's no coincidence that the resurgence in Strategic Planning aligns with the increased responsibility being placed on COOs and CSOs, as well as the rise in new strategy and operations roles, such as the Chief of Staff position.
With the increased responsibility being placed on strategy and operations leaders to own and execute a company's Strategic Planning process, leaders are turning to solutions to help drive alignment and collaboration across their companies.
At Elate, we believe that Strategic Planning encompasses four parts: Vision, Planning, Execution, and Review. But for far too many companies, they only look to solve one part of this strategic lifecycle. That's why we built a solution to serve strategy and operations leaders through the entire process.
Elate is the leading Strategic Planning software built to help high growth companies communicate their vision, create alignment, and track performance all in one place. We look to unify the complete strategic process for companies in a way that accelerates growth and provides sustainability.
That is why we are so passionate about helping to define what a Strategy Management Solution is and the difference between strategy and planning. Granted, they go hand-in-hand and compliment one another, but they are different elements of the process. Recently, Strategic Planning Solutions have been associated with OKR tools, but strategy tools and frameworks like Elate are so much more.
Today, we'll outline three key components of Strategic Management Tools and how they can create a lifecycle for growth within any company.
The rise in goal-setting frameworks, such as OKRs, V2MOM, EOS, and countless others have led many companies to believe that by implementing one of these frameworks they could streamline the Strategic Planning process. However, as many companies have seen, these goal-setting frameworks are just one piece of Strategic Planning. Further, without the other elements of Strategic Planning a new goal-setting framework will fall short of delivering on expectations for the company.
For many of the leading strategy and operations leaders we work with, they've identified this shortcoming, and helped answer the question of: 'What is the difference between strategic and tactical planning?'
OKR tools help in one main part of the Strategic Planning process: execution. While no one should ever diminish that element of the overall process, the reality is that it only encompasses a portion of Strategic Planning.
OKR tools are designed to help employees create and track OKRs that help measure the outcomes of specific initiatives or objectives that move the business forward.
However, in creating a tool with a single-focus, most OKR tools have abysmal adoption. Why? Employees don't want yet another solution they have to update that returns no value. Further, the siloed approach to setting and tracking OKRs provides no context on past decisions or performance, and shares little insight into future initiatives. There is no learning being applied.
As we've heard it referenced a number of times at Elate, OKR tools today are like early day data warehouses. You have people dumping a lot of information into warehouses without much rhyme or reason. In essence, OKR tools are creating OKR warehouses that have limited usage or value.
A goal-setting framework like OKRs is an incredibly powerful process that can guide performance of current and future initiatives for a company. However, unless that goal-setting framework is connected to the larger direction, it won't provide much value. With a goal-setting framework, you should be able to connect the structure with three important questions:
- How it aligns with the long term-vision
- How a company is planning to meet those goals
- How you review the performance of those goals to make more informed decision moving forward
With a Strategy Management solution like Elate, each of these questions are built into the fiber of how the platform is designed for strategy and operations leaders.
After sharing how OKR tools and Strategy Management solutions differ philosophically, let's now dive into some of the specific features of a Strategy Management solution.
As we've shared, the best Strategic Planning tools should combine four areas: Vision, Planning, Execution, and Review. For those strategy and operations leaders that have been around Strategic Planning for a while now, they realize that these concepts align closely with most strategic management models.
The first part of Strategic Planning begins with setting your vision.
When it comes to starting or even restarting your company’s Strategic Planning journey you might be tempted to jump right into building out your plan. For many strategy and operations leaders, the natural tendency might be to start, well, strategizing and operating. However, we’d argue that by jumping right into the process, you’re missing one of the most important parts of Strategic Planning, defining the Strategic Vision.
With Elate, companies are able to define their Vision, Mission, and Values, as well as overall company themes aligned with 3, 5, and 10-year strategic plans.
After setting your vision comes planning for the coming year.
It isn't enough to simply have a long-term vision, you have to start breaking down what execution looks like quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year. That is where a Strategic Planning platform like Elate allows for your entire company to propose, review, and finalize key objectives with our Planning feature.
Rather than just dumping OKRs or goals into a framework, with Elate, you are able to understand the impact of different initiatives across the business and how those initiatives may change how you weigh different goals in your plan.
In planning your goals and reviewing what your company should be focused on for the coming year, now comes execution. Answering the question of how you are performing against those goals.
For those companies looking for execution software, Strategic Management solutions like Elate can bring an entirely new meaning to execution. Rather than just tracking performance in a static-view, Elate integrates with the data sources your team uses day-to-day to provide real-time insights on what's performing well or potentially offtrack. Rather than relying on subjective narratives, Elate provides visibility into real-time data across any platforms your team's are using across the business.
From setting your vision, planning your course to success, and measuring execution against your plan, you are nearing the end of this cycle within the strategic management lifecycle. However, the cycle isn't designed to be an end destination. Instead, the cycle itself should gain momentum based on reviewing how the past quarter or year went against expectations. Where did your team exceed expectations or potentially struggle?
In viewing Strategic Planning as a flywheel, you gain more momentum throughout the process every quarter. However, this only comes by reviewing performance.
With Elate's flexible reporting, strategy and operations leaders are able to analyze overall performance on objectives or goals at every level of the business. From understanding the objective success rate of different teams or even starting to understand how many objectives should be owned at each layer of the business, Elate’s reporting capabilities provide insights for how your team can better facilitate and execute against objectives in the coming quarter.
As strategy and operations leaders continue to take on more responsibility in owning the entirety of the Strategic Planning process, it will become more important to ensure they are leveraging tools that allow them to effectively execute at every stage of the process.
With Elate, strategy and operations leaders will no longer have to live in frustration, trying to make goal-setting acronyms work for their teams. Further, they will no longer be forced to live out of countless spreadsheets and decks trying to execute their plan.
Purpose-built for growth, Elate gives your team a realistic framework for strategic planning. As the leading Strategic Planning solution, redefining strategic solutions for high growth companies, Elate can help strategy and operations leaders execute successful strategic planning examples of all kinds.
If you're interested in learning more about Elate and how we are working with leading strategy and operations leaders today, reach out to our team for a demo! We'd be happy to share how Elate can help power a better framework for growth