By Susie Hanna Jordan, Dean’s Analyst
Over the past six months, working groups of Haas managers and leaders have been developing a new strategic business plan that will guide our school over the next five years. Positive Haas faculty and Advisory Board votes on the plan earlier this month mean we’re gearing up for implementation, and on target to begin work around the start of our fiscal year on July 1.
I spent a few minutes with Dean Rich Lyons to find out what the heck an OGST is, what’s new in this plan, and how our jobs will change once it’s in place.
Q: How is this new plan different from our last strategic plan, developed in 2010?
A: The simplest way to describe the difference is that in the 2010 plan, we focused on what we are about; this time, we’re focusing on how we will get to where we want to be.
In 2010, we codified our culture into four Defining Principles, and we defined our mission. We developed a wide-ranging strategy that resulted in many changes, including revamping parts of the MBA curriculum and setting in motion the design and funding of our new building.
The new plan takes us further down that path. It’s a more detailed roadmap—a school-wide strategic business plan—with specific priorities and outcomes we can measure, and an underlying financial model. In creating it, we spent a lot of time defining our assets: what makes us special, and different from our peers? We identified gaps, and determined where we want go next.
The new plan:
- is more streamlined, with fewer strategies.
- has an underlying five-year financial model.
- contains goals and metrics that align with building the reputational and financial strength of our school.
- provides greater accountability: each strategy tactic includes an owner, action plan, and due date.
Q: The plan is built around a strategic framework called Objectives, Goals, Strategies, and Tactics (OGST). Why did you choose this particular framework?
A: Why OGST? We found this structure to be particularly helpful because it forced us to tightly align all our activities—from major initiatives down to unit-level activities—with our mission.
The objective of the plan is to build the financial and operational strength of Haas to further our mission. We have defined two high-level goal areas to focus on: reputation and financial strength. To achieve our goals, we then identified four key strategies—each owned by a senior leader:
1. Build on our strengths as part of UC Berkeley
2. Capitalize further on our Bay Area location
3. Employ an organization-wide approach to activate our alumni network
4. Build a stronger people organization by embodying our Defining Principles
The plan tactics are organized around these four strategies. The tactics are specific actions we believe will allow us to best reach our goals within the next five years. Each tactic also has an owner, who has worked with stakeholders to incorporate them into unit-level business plans.
Aligning our daily activities with the big picture will provide focus for all of us, and create opportunities for more collaboration across units.
Q: What’s the relationship between our Defining Principles and the Strategic Business Plan?
A: The strategic business plan builds on our deep assets–people, place and culture—to further our school’s objective. Our Defining Principles remain a core element of how we work at Haas.
As you read the plan, you will notice that the DPs are specifically mentioned in several tactics. For example, the Diversity Advantage tactic centers on the Beyond Yourself principle, encouraging us all to develop a global mindset and cultural dexterity.
Q: How will my work change with this strategic business plan in place?
A: All of our jobs will touch on these goals in some way. Here are three ways the plan will change your work, and what you can do to help support it:
- Integrate your performance goals: Beginning this fiscal year, each staff member will be required to have at least one goal that links directly to the strategic business plan. Your manager will be sharing some examples of how you might develop your goals.
- Think collaboration: In order to accomplish these goals we all need to work more collaboratively across Haas, and in some cases, across the university. Review the plan with your team and highlight each area where you think you could deepen ties to colleagues’ work. Try this in areas your unit already collaborates on, and also with units you don’t typically work with. Research shows that collaboration is critical to achieving strategic goals.
- Evaluate value: By definition, a strategy is intended to focus efforts and allow the organization to stop doing, or place less emphasis on, certain activities. Add a topic to the agenda of your next team meeting about a program or activity in your unit that, to align with the strategic plan, could be tweaked to add more value or that is no longer adding value and could be eliminated.
Q: What if I come up with a good idea to add as a tactic, strategy, or goal?
A: This five-year strategic business plan is a living document, and we anticipate that it will be refined over time. For now, we don’t anticipate the strategies changing; however, the goals and tactics can be adjusted and refined as we go.
We welcome your ideas, thoughts and suggestions along the way. Please share any specific goals, strategies, or tactics you or your team develops with the named strategy or tactic owner in the plan.