Strategy is defined by tradeoffs and critical choices: where and how should an organization operate? What capabilities must be developed and what areas should be deprioritized? How should change be managed and implemented?
To answer these questions, leadership can sometimes end up addressing long-term structural changes with short-term solutions, inviting entropy and inflexibility into a strategic plan. As industries rapidly reshape, the need to adapt is increasingly pressing.
Macroeconomic conditions are shifting, and as new technology platforms arise, stakeholder demands grow, and competitive pressures build, organizations must transform to win in the marketplace. This is why Clarkston developed the Enterprise Destination Mapping methodology, also known as EDM.
What Is Enterprise Destination Mapping (EDM)?
Enterprise Destination Mapping articulates an organization’s long-term strategic ambition using strategic imperatives, supporting pillars, and specific steps to drive a transformation. Enterprise Destination Mapping aligns the change process with strategic intent by developing a vision and guiding principles, followed by goals, metrics, and specific tactics to create a roadmap. This helps business leaders align and navigate business transformations in the short term and in the long term. Clarkston’s EDM methodology works to effectively define a company’s vision in a way that holds the organization accountable and jumpstarts business transformation.
Defining and successfully articulating a company’s ambition is the first and most important step in the Enterprise Destination Mapping process. This can move the organization in one direction toward the stated enterprise destination and is a critical step in driving organizational alignment from the executive leadership team down to the rest of the organization. The vision must be unique and ownable, aspirational, achievable and sustainable, desirable, communicable, directional, and insight-driven. After establishing a vision, EDM addresses choices and tradeoffs with guiding principles.
To form guiding principles based on the vision, executives must consider the following questions:
- What is the organization willing to change?
- What is the organization NOT willing to change?
- What MUST change?
Well-developed guiding principles provide clarity and visibility into a company’s chosen position in the market. The guiding principles must also be grounded in a view that aligns to the overall vision and strategic imperatives. Defining a vision and guiding principles can then provide a framework to further develop goals and an overall roadmap to success.
Next Steps for Enterprise Destination Mapping
Utilizing a strong vision and guiding principles, goal development can be supported with a thorough business case for funding. This is an often-overlooked step across any kind of transformation (operating model changes, digital transformations, portfolio management, etc.) as executives apply rigid and inflexible planning and control systems with constrictive short-term KPI metrics.
Enterprise Destination Mapping offers “freedom within a framework” to ensure overall alignment while creating flexibility to adapt to market conditions. For organization leaders facing change, Enterprise Destination Mapping acts as a standard to improve the transformation process and the change adoption that follows. Together, all Enterprise Destination Mapping elements can be cohesively connected and executed with a roadmap that is primed for execution.
Navigating business transformations and creating sustainable change is difficult as it requires collaboration, time, different ways of thinking, and high degrees of persistence and resilience. Enterprise Destination Mapping helps business leaders drive alignment across their organization and improve the adoption of change associated with the transformation journey.
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Contributions by Courtney Loughran.