‘Strategy’ is a term that gets used and referenced within almost every aspect of business, and/or organisational management these days.

At Adaptera, we are passionate about and dedicated to understanding the term ‘strategy’ in its most natural and intended form and are devoted to developing a holistic, yet practical strategic management system that both we and our clients can use to create and realise our own (sustainable) futures.

Our approach is to work together with management and leadership teams to develop their strategic management system in a way that is empowering, engaging and practical, hands on.

We have defined the term ‘strategy’ for ourselves as:

  • “The art of making informed choices about what to do (and what not to do) in relation to one’s philosophy and implementing those choices through engaged planning, disciplined execution and consistent monitoring and evaluation”.

We understand that developing a successful strategy within the environmental or social sectors in Africa can be seen as a daunting task that is often complex and difficult to navigate. Our role is to simplify this complexity into a holistic, yet practical approach that is integrated into each organisation in as seamless a way as possible.

Sustainability – a key aspect of any strategy is sustainability (long term survival and viability). Sustainability, in our minds incorporates the five elements as described by the Five Capitals Model which include: natural capital, human capital, social capital, financial capital and manufactured capital.

So why develop a strategic management system?

  • To make a difference: Ultimately, a good strategic management system enables an organisation to achieve their vision and realise their purpose (mission). This in the environmental and social sectors means an increase in accumulated positive impacts – which lies at the heart of Adaptera’s philosophy.
  • Sustainability: A good strategic management system increases the prospect of an organisation achieving both a viable and sustainable state operations and ensures that an organisation has thought about, made choices and put in place plans that span a medium and long term horizon. This enables an organisation to invest in future opportunities, whilst delivering on immediate demands.
  • Innovation: A good strategic management system enables an organisational culture that stimulates ideas which lead to innovative thinking and creation.
  • Employee Engagement: A good strategic management system can increase an organisations employee engagement and morale through providing clear direction and focus on where the organisation is headed and an increase in employee engagement leads to an increase in organisational performance.
  • High Performing Talent: A good strategic management system will also attract and retain high performing employees that fit the organisations culture and stakeholders that want to partner with a successful organisation.
  • Stakeholder Confidence: A good strategic management system boosts stakeholder perceptions, confidence, trust and support.

The Adaptera Strategic Management System

Our approach to developing a successful ‘strategy’ that is holistic in nature, yet practical during application is based on developing and integrating key aspects of ‘strategy’ into an organisation as outlined in the diagram and descriptions below.

Strategic Philosophy

The purpose of a strategic philosophy is to provide people with a sense of purpose and direction:

  • This ensures that everyone in an organisation understands and is committed to the reason why the organisation exists and what its purpose (mission) is;
  • What the organisation wants to achieve (vision), and
  • How the organisation will behave and what its core (values) are.

Adaptera supports organisations to identify, clarify and communicate their strategic philosophy.

Strategic Thinking

The purpose of strategic thinking is to undertake a process of learning and gaining insight into both the internal and external organisational environments in an attempt to gain valuable information to make informed choices and decisions.

Adaptera facilitates a wide variety of strategic thinking exercises, such as:

  • Scenario Planning
  • Environmental Scanning
  • Systems Thinking
  • Business Model Canvassing
  • PESTLE Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis
  • And various others…

Strategic Choices

The purpose of making strategic choices is to ensure that an organisation is consciously aware of and agrees with the key choices and decisions that it has to make with regards to what it will (and won’t do).

  • What will you do (and what won’t you do) and where will you do it?
  • How will you do it?
  • How will you succeed?
  • What will be your schedule of events?
  • How will you earn a living and be sustainable?

Adaptera supports organisations in their decision making.

Strategic Planning

The purpose of strategic planning is to undertake a process of incorporating the insights of strategic thinking and the key choices and decisions made into a concrete plan of action that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time- bound.

Adaptera facilitates the development of engaged strategic plans.

  • Adaptera uses the Balanced Scorecard approach to collate the strategy into an easy to understand, yet measurable and target driven approach to strategic planning.
  • It is also important to ensure that in developing your strategic plan, various elements such as your resources, finances and capacity constraints are aligned.

Disciplined Execution

The purpose of disciplined execution is to translate the strategic plan into actual implementation and connect it to all departments and business units as well as all employees’ job profiles throughout the organisation.

  • Linking job profiles throughout the organisation is essential to ensure alignment to the balanced scorecard.

Adaptera is able to support organisations throughout implementation. 

Monitoring and Evaluation

The purpose of monitoring and evaluation is to regularly monitor and evaluate the progress of achieving the strategic plan so as to make any necessary adjustments (adaptations) along the way to enable success.

  • Developing and implementing an agreed schedule is key to ensuring an organisation stays on track.
  • Regular reporting is also key to ensuring that everyone within the organisation is kept informed and abreast of progress.

Adaptera supports organisations to monitor their progress on a regular basis.

Organisational Development

The purpose of organisational development is to continuously develop an organisations ability to adapt and improve. Adaptera is able to support organisational development through the following means.

  • Working to ones strengths
  • Building employee engagement
  • Aligning organisational culture
  • Outlining responsibilities and accountabilities
  • Management and leadership training and awareness

So what has an impact on developing a successful strategic management system?

  • Diversity of Involvement: Ensuring that the right mix of people are involved in developing a strategic management system.
  • Training and Development: The quality of both individual and organisational training and development.
  • Simplified Processes: Ensuring a strategic management system is both holistic and practical is essential in introducing and developing an integrated strategic management system.
  • Employee Engagement: Ensuring that employees are engaged throughout the development of a strategic management system will improve their buy-in, support and ownership of the strategy when it comes to implementation.
  • Quality Information: The relevance and reliability of adequate data to inform decision making is critical to making the right informed choices.
  • Time: It is essential to put aside adequate time to understand, introduce and develop an integrated strategic management system – this is not a quick fix solution and requires commitment and dedication.