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How to develop a strategy that works?

A strategy that everyone can understand and that actually works: is it possible in the public sector?

Society expects competence, helpfulness, speed, efficient use of costs, and leadership in the implementation of what it regulates and communicates from public sector organizations. These expectations are growing because life in our country is compared with other advanced countries, people's citizenship is increasing and they understand that they themselves finance the state apparatus. But how can a public sector body or company improve its services if it does not have a clear idea of where it is going and what it is aiming for? LEANERS partner Robert Šerėnas comments on the importance of a quality strategy for a modern organization.

What are the characteristics of an effective public sector organization?

In helping public sector organizations in various countries, we see that effective are those institutions that achieve their ambitious goals and openly declare it. Such organizations do not have many goals, they are quite clear (for example, "making the civil service professional" is a vague goal). Effective organizational action plans are not limited to solving local problems, such as reducing paper consumption or complaints. It has numerically clearly defined results aimed at improving the quality of services and increasing customer satisfaction. I would also single out one common essential feature of effective organizations - it is the continuous improvement of strategic management competence and its consistent application in practice.

What challenges do public sector organizations face when they want to create strategies that actually help them?

The situation, which we see after implementing dozens of projects in Lithuania and abroad, is similar in many organizations: not enough time is allocated to strategic planning, the competence of conducting strategic sessions needs to be strengthened, there are not enough human resources. However, the constantly growing number of requests shows us that organizations understand these shortcomings, are looking for help from the outside, first of all, to strengthen their people with new knowledge, to "turn on" the correct processes.

What should organizations pay attention to when they no longer want to create strategies "in the drawer"?

For public sector organizations planning strategy renewal work, we advise them to include no more than three measurable very important (SMART) goals. It should be understood by any person within ten minutes, the document should fit on one page and respond to the main strategy of the state and the expectations of stakeholders. The important thing is to involve the employees of the organization in the development of the strategy, so that it does not remain only a matter of the "strategy department". This department should not develop strategy, but involve all stakeholders in co-creation and help agree on the essentials. This is what we talk about in strategic sessions, which we not only facilitate, but also help capture insights, but at the same time we train our clients to do it themselves.

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