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Review – Reset – Renew: the 3 R’s of the Strategy Cascade Cycle

The start of the new financial year is a good time to discuss the three R’s of deploying or cascading your strategy to bite-sized, meaningful chunks that your teams can work on, day in day out. The three R’s are: Review, Reset and Renew. Strategy Cascade is about creating a line of sight for everyone in the organisation to contribute to the success you are seeking as a business. Teams who can articulate how they contribute to success, achieve said success, and are recognised for their achievement are the best intrinsically motivated teams you can develop. Strategy cascade is a key part of that.

The four-level cascade from Purpose to Results is as follows:

  • Purpose is achieved through strategy
  • Strategy is actioned by plans
  • Plans are completed through tasks and actions
  • Actions – verified by checks – lead to results,

You cannot DO strategy and cannot DO objectives. You can only DO tasks and actions. What is your process to take your vision and turn this into results? What is your cadence of planning, doing, checking, and adjusting for the execution of your strategy?

Industry-leading organisations have defined their Strategy Cascade process using the three R’s: Review, Reset and Renew.

At (or ideally before) the start of the year you develop an annual plan of objectives and key results, based on your strategy. You take this annual plan and develop this into 90-day tasks and actions which you can DO: the two or three actions for each objective you will take spread out over the next ninety days. In a recurring annual cycle, the development of the annual plan and 90-day plan is RENEW.

The 90-day plans are looked at frequently for progress and completion of tasks. The process is to ‘red/green’ the tasks in your weekly or monthly REVIEW to ensure you escalate barriers early enough. Red means behind, and green means on track to completion. You do these short interval checks or reviews to avoid the ‘hockey-stick effect’ of task completion: all the action is in the last few days or hours of a period. It’s easy and fast to review when you only have to talk about a few reds, we only adjust for those.

At the end of the ninety days, following the last review, you develop the next 90-day plan. You RESET based on the important objectives we did not yet achieve in the last ninety days, add the next tasks for the objectives that are in progress, and add new objectives and goals from our annual plan we have not yet started. This happens every quarter or ninety days.

And finally, at the end of the fourth quarter or last ninety days of the year, we are back to RENEW. We develop a new annual plan and new 90-day plan based on the refreshed strategy document, and the reviews of last year’s annual plan and the last 90-day plan. The cycle continues.

With the start of a new financial year, now is the time to think about the improvements you want to make to your business. How do you Review, Reset and Renew your strategy towards success?

(* To our many international followers and readers: I’m sure you have a different start to your financial years, but for NZ this is 01 April. I’m also sure that you are aware of the countercyclical seasons in the Southern Hemisphere – reinterpret the diagram and text for your tax year and hemisphere!).

About the author: Geerten Lengkeek is the Managing Director of Productivity People  

Watch Geerten Lengkeek explain Strategy Excution here.