What Are Strategic Business Drivers?
Your business' strategic drivers are the collection of people, conditions, and information that initiate and support activities that will help your company define and accomplish its goals. These drivers represent the key influences or factors that matter to the success of your organization. Some of the most common strategic business drivers include:
How an Organization Chooses its Key Drivers
Strategic drivers are shaped by both internal and external forces. Internal drivers may include mission, people, and profit goals. External drivers include markets, competition, taxes, regulations, technology, and customer needs. Once you choose the particular drivers for your business, you can prioritize them and create strategies around them. The following are examples of several common strategic drivers and strategies that stem from those drivers.
Strategic Driver - Strategy Examples
Aligning Projects with Strategic Business Drivers
Most companies undertake a variety of short and long-term projects that are either internal to the organization, external, or some combination of the two. If you've ever been involved in a project that has fallen off course, you know how frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive that can become. One of the best ways to ensure that your firm's projects remain on track is to align them with your company's strategic business drivers.
Agreeing to launch a new product or begin a project just because it's convenient or advocated by management may not make sense once it is viewed with a fresh pair of glasses. Before a project is even considered, the first step should be to confirm that it aligns with your firm's top strategic business drivers. When your company follows a formal process to prioritize and agree on the right projects based on this strategy, you will have fewer missteps and a higher success rate with each venture.
Examples of Strategic Business Drivers in Success Businesses
Many well-known companies have defined their strategic business drivers and used them to generate long-term success. For example, GE clearly wants to serve its clients in as many capacities as possible (Customer driver). They are an example of a company that offers a portfolio of basic and value-added services to customers such as technology assessments, strategic planning, and even capital investment. If you want to focus on the social/environmental aspect of your business, look no further than Siemens as a benchmark. The German industrial conglomerate is known as the most sustainable company in the world even though its businesses range from power plants to medical imaging machines.
For an organization to find success, it should clearly define the strategic value that it brings to its stakeholders (e.g., clients, employees, suppliers) and the marketplace at large. One of the first steps to defining your company's goals is to identify and prioritize its strategic business drivers. These in turn serve as the basis for strategies, tactics, and programs/projects necessary to run and grow your business.
These strategic drivers are the DNA of your overall business. If they are poorly defined, your goals may run off course, and your business could fail. It's essential that you have a method in place to monitor your business drivers and make adjustments as needed. We'll explore those topics in depth in Parts 2 and 3 of this series.
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