€ on request
4 days (or customizable)

Strategy Deployment

Do you want your organization's improvement efforts to be better aligned? Are initiatives too fragmented? Do you want the organization to start learning from mistakes in strategy or execution? In this course, you will learn how to set up your organization's management to be focused, aligned, and capable of rapid response.

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Who is this training for?

  • Directors, C-level
  • Executives who can get at least two layers of management to go along with a change
  • Experienced lean coaches who want to make MTs more effective
  • Staff and internal consultants from Strategic Consulting, Organizational Development or Management Development departments
  • If you had hoped to get more results with an X-matrix

Be convinced

What will this training bring you?

You learn to recognize weaknesses in strategy formulation and execution.
You will learn to integrate lean into management, rather than using lean as a program "in addition to work."
You will learn that strategies and annual plans are best used as hypotheses from which we must learn quickly.

This is what you will learn

Many strategies have two weaknesses: they are too vague to provide sufficient direction for the organization, and they are "solutions" while we cannot possibly get to the bottom of the problem. The implementation of such a strategy also often has weaknesses: the effort is too fragmented to be effective, initiatives unintentionally compete with each other, and we do not learn from what succeeds and what fails.

These problems largely stem from the top-down model in which we divide authority and then delegate it vertically. Strategy Deploymentis the Lean answer to this. We'll teach you about the Strategy Deployment system in all its components.


Your organization is in an environment that is changeable, complex and unclear. In such a situation, it is impossible to define simple "solutions."

  • The standard interventions (outsourcing, automation, reorganization, etc.), are too simple to differentiate yourself from the competition with them.
  • In addition, they mainly combat the symptoms. As a result, they are too superficial to affect the underlying situation.
  • Finally, it is not effective to delegate a problem downward (turning a cost problem into "every division must cut back"). An organization is not just a sum of departments.

The alternative to these oversimplified interventions is PDCA, in which we recognize that we don't know for sure either, and we preempt the rest of the organization that all plans are actually experiments.

The following topics will be covered:

  • The duties of management
  • The three goals of strategy deployment
  • Performance-versus-process indicators
  • PDCA as rapid experimentation for learning
  • Downward translation of performance goals

'Catchball' we know from old-fashioned American TV series: after dinner in those days, father and son would throw a baseball over. For that, you had to be at least two people, and you had to be both good at throwing and good at catching. Besides, on TV such a father-son moment was an opportunity to finally have a real talk with each other.

Although most executives' day consists largely of deliberation, there is much room for improvement in our communication. Surprisingly often we talk without really listening, and we talk past each other. Catchball is all about learning to throw better (communicate your own point of view better) and catch better (understand the other person better).

The following topics will be covered:

  • Beyond vague talk: expressing yourself well
  • More than content: understanding others fully
  • Empathic listening: from debate to dialogue
  • Essential to consensus: conflict
  • Obstacles to effective communication

Management system

Usually, operationalizing a strategy consists of breaking down and assigning the goals into smaller pieces: all achieving part of the cost savings, all improving part of the lead time. However, this only pushes our problem downhill. Ultimately, the strategic problems end up on the shop floor's plate.

But organizational performance is not simply the sum of the performance of all employees put together. To get in control, we must learn to understand our situation (market, machines/systems, the work, the people and their skills, etc). The management system in Strategy Deployment teaches each level of management to see and solve problems at their own level.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Straight to the point: from reports to visual management for the board of directors
  • Results don't let themselves be controlled: steering by process indicators
  • Annual plans and strategies as experiments
  • Focus and alignment: the Lean management system as a response to fragmentation and sectional interests
  • React quickly: from "formulate a strategy annually" to short-cycle evaluation on decisiveness and change capacity of the organization and the outcomes of the experiments
  • Connecting the layers of management: from strategic through tactical to operational and back again

Strategy Deployment teaches us to see anomalies in our own management functioning. Specifically, we learn to see problems in the areas of:

  • Focus: We all want to make things better, but do we have the same goals?
  • Alignment: are our initiatives inadvertently driving each other's wheels?
  • Response time: are we learning fast enough as management?

Whenever we see such problems within management or MT, it is a good idea to tackle it with an A3. Where the shop floor uses simpler problem-solving methods, A3 is a problem-solving tool for management. Wherever there are competing interests and any problem that crosses departmental boundaries, an A3 can help address that specific problem as well as the broader issue at hand, such as: How do we deal with centralization versus decentralization? How do we deal with problems and deviations? How do we deal with rewards?

A3 follows the PDCA cycle. However, A3 does not have an operational focus but a management focus.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Origin of A3
  • A3 as a management process
  • The Point of Cause: the "missing link" in the consultant approach
  • Pitfalls in cause analysis
True North and Deployment Leaders

True North, in shipping, was a means of staying on course: no matter how much the wind blows you off course, the Pole Star always indicates what your course should be. What could the role of Pole Star play in our organization?

Targets and performance rewards do not appear to be enough. If we want to fundamentally change something, we must be able to touch people's intrinsic motivation. True North must therefore be more than a service mission - it must express where we need to go. And do so in such a way that everyone is truly touched by it. This means that it cannot be a top-down message, but must be determined collectively. And that not as a weak compromise, but by entering into conflict with each other on content.

Next, senior managers must exhibit a difficult sample of exemplary behavior: taking responsibility without the accompanying authority. We are used to link responsibility to the delegated mandate. But most real organizational problems are cross-departmental. Only at the CEO (municipal secretary, DG, etc.) do all the lines come together. It just doesn't make sense to put all the real problems with the CEO. We must therefore learn to take responsibility without having the "power" to change things. We must earn that power by really understanding and doing justice to all perspectives, and by really understanding the content of the problem.

The following topics will be covered:

  • True North as a compass for the organization: the 'what' and 'why' - but not the 'how'
  • Translating the True North
  • Separating responsibility from authority
  • Pull-based authority

The cost

We provide the Strategy Deployment Workshop only in-company (normally in about 4 days). Please contact us and we will discuss your needs and make a customized offer.

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