What is a Strategy Map?

Simply put, it is a simplistic document that aims to demonstrate the strategic goals that are being strived for either by an organization as a whole or by an individual team within an organization. Although varied amongst different businesses, there are several commonalities between maps as well as common benefits that they aim to achieve:

1) They are easy to communicate – this allows the map to be shared amongst the various stakeholders within the company. It is much more likely to be consumed than tedious and long-winded strategy documents and therefore to receive buy in from all levels ranging from the employee to management.

2) Synonymous with its effectiveness of communication at the varied levels of the organization, it will naturally become a true driver of change. Once all employees clearly see and understand the strategic direction of the company this is the only way that they can integrate this strategy in the day to day operations leading to true change.

3) It serves as a virtual stick in the sand to be referenced when required. Times when it might be referenced include when making decisions both big and small, the decision maker can ask themselves if the decision is aligned to the overall business strategy summarized by the map.

4) They are particularly important for smaller businesses as they grow beyond backyard businesses and enter the larger corporate circles. It encourages the conversation at a management and executive level to move beyond operations and towards more strategic discussions which is one of the keys to long term sustainable growth

5) They can also serve to spread understanding within a company of exactly how the different all fit together striving towards a common goal. This is extremely valuable as it has flow on benefits as better interaction and engagement between employees of different sections of the organization.

Sample Strategy Map
Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Generic_Strategy_Map.png

Where can I go about getting started creating one?

There are many resources available online to help us on the way to creating a strategy map and sticking with our technological world today, electronic instead of the old school whiteboard is the way to go. I suggest that you do a quick google search and I am sure that you will find lots more information.

Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes
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