Innovation Series: C-level viewpoint on strategic planning. A recent Arcus survey of 1500 C-Level executives indicates strategic planning can be a frustrating exercise. Just 45 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied with their strategic-planning process.
CEOs and Strategic Planning: Growth and change as key elements of corporate and business unit strategy
Arcus Consulting Group and the Association for Corporate Growth have launched a major collaboration to explore growth and change as key elements of corporate and business unit strategy. Arcus is privileged to work together with the Association for Corporate Growth, pioneering solutions to today’s most pressing business issues. In conjunction with the Toronto Chapter of the ACG, Arcus will be conducting specific surveys with senior executives in a variety of industries.
What does it take to innovate?
The majority of executives say it involves risk management and a comprehensive strategy for value creation. These achievements enable companies to define the major trends in products, systems and services, and to offer customers important added value. They say it helps to cut costs, increase sales and achieve higher earnings. But how does one come up with new solutions, and can innovation really be part of a strategy plan? Arcus’ multi-industry survey of senior executives found that of all the challenges companies face in this area, the biggest challenge is finding ways to create “a culture of innovation”.
Drivers of Innovation
Arcus research indicates that to create such a culture, you need to be surrounded by highly talented people. Arcus believes that creating the right culture and finding the right people can have a dramatic impact on the results of innovation projects. Managers and C-Level executives broadly agree about processes, resources and the need for visible sponsorship of the process of innovation. Respondents to our survey of 1500 C-Level executives and managers indicated that culture and talent are closely correlated with a superior performance on innovation.
Our research indicates that middle managers can facilitate the innovation process or serve as bottlenecks to the open flow of ideas and knowledge in an innovation network. Often, there is a gap in the perceived value of an innovation initiative at the middle management level. The process is seen as just another initiative that will increase their workload and add to the complexity of their priorities. Senior executives with successful innovation strategies often emphasize the importance of ensuring a high level of participation and buy-in by middle management in the innovation process. A strategy that has worked well in some organizations is to take the network to middle managers and encourage an exchange of ideas and knowledge at the middle management level. A decentralized approach often improves the performance of innovation initiatives.
Concepts and strategy
Our approach is to first use our collective experience to come up with 15-20 provocative concepts for a strategy. These are based on a series of questions that probe various topics and drivers of change. The outcome of the process is used to build several strategic maps to define and strengthen each hypothesis for a strategy.