A strong company strategy is critical to success in today's fast-paced and uncertain environment, yet few organizations follow a structured approach. We recently sat down with our partner Delve's co-founder Alex Limpaecher to discuss how he utilized Gaussian's strategy workshop framework during their 2023 planning session.
Delve is a qualitative analytics technology company with several significant initiatives in 2023. Alex participated in strategy sessions over the years, which were often poorly planned and resulted in a contest of egos. The meetings and strategy sessions were quickly forgotten by leadership, and initiatives never materialized. The five steps framework was appealing to Alex because of the clearly defined steps that he hoped at the end would provide a clear, aligned vision versus continuing to iterate on small steps with little progress.
Alex and his partner started the research step before implementing the strategy framework. Because they work remotely, they utilized a shared Notion workspace to capture research and data. The Delve tool played a crucial role in collecting research from customer interviews and insights to lay the groundwork for their strategy.
With the research complete, Alex was unsure how to take that insight to form a clear strategy. The five-step strategy workshop framework gave him a clear next step, and they began going back and forth in Notion to define outcomes.
Now that outcomes were agreed on, they met over Zoom to start ideation. With each idea, they went through an exercise to consider both the feasibility and impact of each idea. After consolidating and ensuring the ideas were strategic, they tried to gauge their impact using a quote from a strategy book as a guide, which stated that the "ideas should help us get 15% of the way towards their overall goal". To determine feasibility and impact, they did back-of-the-napkin calculations. Some initial ideas were exciting, but they realized they would not move the needle as much as they thought. On the other hand, some of the ideas they came up with had a much better chance of success.
The exercise resulted in faster decision-making and gave them a sense of direction. It helped them prioritize specific initiatives and made them more confident in their choices. They're hoping that the focus on feasibility and impact will result in a positive return on investment.
One of the critical initiatives that came out of their planning session was the need to bring on a new employee. Alex said, "We realize every time we focus on one thing, I recognize the ball will get dropped on another initiative. During our planning session, we acknowledged that we have to hire someone as part of the strategy. Thankfully, we're able to hire someone to focus on executing a different part of the strategy. We hired quickly and decisively because we clearly defined our strategy and initiative ownership. It's been very cool that we've been able to move faster and make stronger decisions in that regard."
When conducting their strategy workshop in the fall, they targeted the strategy launch for the beginning of the new year. The new year has come, and the vision and strategy that came out of their workshopping are now driving their initiatives, and the plan is implemented.
Delve's experience with the five steps to conducting strategy workshops was productive and different from their past experiences. By thoroughly preparing beforehand, they were able to avoid the issues that often arose during these types of sessions and were able to develop a solid strategy for their company. It serves as a reminder that preparation is vital to making these sessions productive and valuable.
Delve provides a software solution to analyze qualitative data. It's a simple-to-use, collaborative online analysis tool that allows you to find rigorous human insights quickly.
Delve's online qualitative research software helps organize and analyze qualitative data efficiently when completing your dissertation or other research. Learn more about Delve here.