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Four step Interactive process
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MarkStrat uses a four step process to review strategy, identify change needs and opportunities and implement desirable actions.

Stage 1 Prework

Candidates for the program are identified, these will typically be executive directors and senior managers, but may include anyone who has a functional leadership responsibility. Typically the program will involve between 3 and 8 people.

Each of these participants complete a number of forms and schedules in advance of Stage 2. This information covers areas of strategy and strategy implementation. The responses are consolidated to highlight areas of consensus and difference in the management team.

Stage 2 Seminar

An intensive one-day seminar, facilitated by a skilled consultant, examines the areas of major strategy and the degree of uniformity among the management team. Core areas addressed can be represented as:

Experience has shown that most functioning SME's are relatively clear about these areas, they need tuning rather than overhaul, and MarkStrat addresses the process needed to confirm and tune these areas of strategy.

The key to the review is to identify how the company implements the core strategies. So a significant part of the seminar is devoted to examining and selecting the most appropriate strategy drivers for examination and further work. Up to 4 key drivers are identified and delegated to mangers to plan and implement improvement programs.

Stage 3 - Key driver planning and review

The delegated managers prepare plans to address improvement in their allocated areas, and the seminar participants meet for a half day one month after the initial seminar to review and accept their plans.

Stage 4 - Key driver implementation and integration

The participating team meets again three months after the original seminar to review progress of the key driver plans, and to ensure that the activities are integrated into the day to day running of the business. The final output of the process could be likened to:

So closing the loop between strategy and the transactions involving customers, suppliers, staff and other stakeholders.