If you ever get the feeling your company is going nowhere fast, and your job provides as much value as a mouse spinning on a wheel, your company might not have a director of strategy. A director of strategy is a leader who makes sure everyone in the company is moving forward in the same direction, and that the direction they're moving in is the right one.
A strategic plan is often referred to as a roadmap and with good reason. This roadmap shows employees what path the company is on and where it needs to go. A director of strategy works with peers and senior executives to create the roadmap, plotting out a course of action that will increase the company’s value and market share. Strategic roadmaps can be based on projects to bring new products or services to market or to increase sales from a company’s existing portfolio.
Analysis and Goal Setting
Creating the roadmap requires a great deal of analysis. The director needs to know the current state of the company, where it stands among the competition, and what differentiates it from its competitors. She also needs information about where the market is headed and what capabilities the company has that it can build upon. When complete, the strategic roadmap provides measurable, long-term goals that are realistic and achievable.
The Ability to Execute
All leaders must be able to execute plans. In other words, they need to make things happen. Things happen best when employees are given the resources they need and are motivated to work toward achieving common goals. The director of strategy collaborates with colleagues in upper management to make sure resource needs are included and addressed in the roadmap. As a leader, she should be able to motivate people to follow her, and her strategic plans must resonate with employees and management alike.
Communication plays a critical role in the strategic planning process. The best way to get the organization on board at all staffing levels is by making sure everyone in the company understands the strategic goals and how each department can help achieve those goals. Strategic plans are communicated clearly up front, and all managers are directed to establish goals that link directly to those strategies. A director of strategy sees to it that goals cascade downward to all levels of employees, progress is communicated upward to management, and company strategies are included regularly in communication efforts.
A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.