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  • Writer's pictureErin Sedor

Breaking the Mold with Essential Strategy

Better Strategy. Simply Done.

Organizations are simply organisms - entities with interdependent parts, consisting of both tangible and intangible bits. Together they make up a living, learning, and often contrary, whole.

I've seen time and again that when problem-solving stops at the symptoms and not the cause, those disconnects will – without a doubt – come up again and again, usually at the worst possible time.

To really move past it and improve, we not only have to understand the root of the dysfunction, but we must also create systems to feed that learning back in, building organizational intelligence and durability. These systems must be holistic and embedded, intended to outlast any single, or group, of individuals.

These systems ultimately drive efficient operations, effective governance, and robust decision-making capabilities of the organization. It is this interconnected framework that ultimately manages risks, leverages opportunities, and builds forward-looking strategies.

It’s good stuff, right? Important stuff.

But it’s hard. So hard that even massive organizations with tremendous resources fail to get it right, and often smaller organizations don’t even try.

There are a lot of ways to design and implement the overarching systems that drive strategy, risk and resilience inside an entity, so many in fact that you can spend years (I did) trying to get your head around all the theories, frameworks, and methods out there. They all have merit. But, what I will share with you is this – the devil is in the one detail that doesn’t get much attention and that is integration.

We can’t design strategy without understanding (truly) where our risks are, and we can’t properly prioritize the management of risk without understanding strategic intent and outcomes.

Integration means that strategy and risk programming are intricately woven in a way that allows information to flow intelligently between these two crucial disciplines, reaching those who need to make decisions in a timely manner.

I have, in my corporate career, built several hybrid systems to blend these competencies to better support and sustain an organization. But it was complicated, time-consuming, and not easy to replicate.

As I moved out of the corporate world and began working with clients, I saw these same issues with disconnected systems, haphazard execution, blind spots to risk, and gaping holes in resilience planning – often with no recognition of the potential impact any of it had on successfully achieving business objectives.

These blind spots were never the same, they were as unique as the entities themselves, but interestingly enough, not driven by industry sector, organization type, or business model. It had more to do with a lack of integration, information flow and alignment that was preventing the right information getting to the right people at the right time to make solid, well-informed decisions.

There were two problems to work out.

The first was to find a simplified approach that would work for every organization every time, from billion-dollar, multi-line companies, to small non-profit tribal organizations, to solo entrepreneurs. Large, complex entities need sophistication without operational burden – small entities need a system that makes sense.

The second problem to address was scalability. Stacking and integrating strategy, risk, and resilience programs – programs mostly designed to function independently – would require thinking outside the box.

Solving these two problems was crucial.

I kept returning to the same fundamental question – what was it that every organization had in common? What were the foundational components that drive performance excellence? Those essential competencies that drive success and sustainability?

What I discovered was this – every entity needs a purpose, they must grow, and they must survive, and to do that, they had to evolve.

This is the problem I choose to solve.

The world needs a simple and straightforward system for accomplishing better risk and strategy integration. If it is simple, it will be easier to understand. If it is easier to understand, it will be easier to implement. If it works for everyone – regardless of size, type, industry, or purpose – then it will be right model.

Essential Strategy was born from this and today, continues to grow and evolve to fulfill its own purpose – to simplify the path to organizational excellence for every type and size of entity.

To learn more about Essential Strategy and how if can be applied in your organization, schedule a call today!


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