Today, the strategy process is mainly something happening in and around the boardroom. 31% of respondents indicates that the management team and executives determine the strategy, and another 23% indicates that the CEO determines the strategy process. However, there is a clear trend that organisations are involving more people in the strategy process outside the persons frequenting the boardroom. In 2014, only 10% of respondents indicated that the strategy is determined through a dialogue with the entire organisation. Today, this percentage has more than doubled to 21%. In particular in the financial sector this seems a popular trend, where 39% of companies indicates that the strategy is determined in dialogue with the entire organisation. A clear change is also visible in the strategic planning period. During the financial crisis, the strategic plan was more focused on surviving the year, looking just one year ahead. In 2016, the new standard has shifted to two to four years. In other words, in turbulent times, the strategy process focuses on a short-term, top-down approach to enable quickly making and implementing decisions. Today, the organisation is involved in the strategy process more frequently, and external parties, in particular current and potential customers, are also increasingly involved.

The Strategic Process within organisations is shifting from top-down to a dialogue with the whole organisation. Strategic Challenges for Dutch CEO's in 2016

CEOs indicate that the challenges in defining the strategy are mainly related to actual implementation of the strategy in terms of goals and annual plans. This is related to the fact that the implementation of the required changes proves a major obstacle to CEOs in ensuring the success of the strategic process. The implementation of environmental and organisational analyses seems to become less of a problem. Exploration of the future is also not a major issue for organisations. It seems that companies understand they have to do something, and increasingly have a clear idea of the solution paths. However, just how they are going to act on it, and choosing the right approach remains a major challenge to many organisations.

Strategic Challenges

Most CEOs indicate that identifying opportunities and risks is becoming less of a problem. Most organisations know they should do something to keep up. They also have an increasingly clear idea where to find the solutions. Finding the right solutions and actually implementing the solutions found - that will be the key challenge for Dutch CEOs in 2016. 

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Strategy Trends: 

Justin van der Starre

Gerben van den Berg

Douwe Suesan

Ruben Stukart