Developing a clear strategy – the strategy on a page
How does an Innovation Manager acquire the authority to make change that may disrupt and impact other employees? They need the support of the Executive and the clearest way to demonstrate that support is through an endorsed strategy that clearly defines the goals, priorities, actions and milestones.
MLA has developed a method for planning innovation strategy called the strategy on a page (SOAP), which is an important way to engage the right people from the start, in a thorough process that produces clear objectives. When it is complete, Innovation Managers have an agreed framework and roadmap for their role and the innovation priorities of the business.
To ensure it is meaningful, all relevant managers and executives must meet to develop the SOAP. The more buy-in from the Executive and the greater alignment to company strategy, the more successful the innovation program will be. The SOAP identifies the company’s challenges and opportunities so the business can action initiatives designed to address them over a three- to five-year period. It provides a road map for cross-portfolio initiatives and collaboration.
Engaging your leadership to develop and sign off the strategy ensures their support and provides a shared reference point for assessing progress. The overall strategy provides the umbrella and action plan for each project with clear milestones.
Steps for developing a strategy:
- Conduct a strategy session and include all key people – relevant managers, CEO, relevant Executive team members.
- Develop a draft strategy for the overall program following the SOAP template.
- Reflect on and review the outcomes of the strategy session.
- Finalise overall plan.
- Develop a plan for each of the priority initiatives with relevant people and stakeholders.
- Present for endorsement to CEO and or Executive team.
- Use the project strategy as a framework for project management, progress and evaluation.