What are strategic business initiatives?
Strategic Business Initiatives (SBIs) is a general term used to describe any decision made by an organization which impacts corporate objectives. Although most often used when the decision is a positive one, such as to invest in new equipment or to introduce a new product or service, SBIs are also used to describe negative decisions such as the closure of a facility or the layoff of staff observes Fintalent’s Strategic Business Initiatives consultants.
SBIs usually require large investments of time and money. Strategic business initiatives can be either strategic or tactical, depending on the size of their impact. Strategic initiatives are those that will have a significant impact on an organization’s strategic objectives. Tactical initiatives are those that fit easily into existing processes to meet more immediate goals.
For example, in the case of a restaurant that wishes to introduce new cuisine, this may be considered a strategic initiative. In contrast, introducing a new style of decor in an existing restaurant seems more tactical.
Generally speaking, strategic initiatives are initiatives that are big, expensive and complex. Tactical initiatives are small and simple/easily achievable (e.g., redesigning the menu board).
However, there is considerable scope for both types of initiative to be used in combination (e.g., looking at all facets at once instead of doing one thing followed by another).
It is important to note that the decision to invest in a particular initiative (strategic or tactical) is not necessarily taken at the same level as the decision to implement it.
Strategic business initiatives are often part of a formal strategy or plan. The decisions taken to implement the strategy should be based on environmental opportunities and threats, internal capabilities, and external circumstances.
There is considerable scope for both types of initiative to be used together (e.g., looking at all facets at once instead of just doing one thing followed by another).
There are no hard and fast rules for how to decide which initiatives should be strategic and which should be tactical. However, there are some good practice principles:
Institutions will not remain strategic or tactical, but will instead end up somewhere in between.
Leaders must spend time with their people and understand their business. They need to challenge their assumptions, they need to identify what they really own in the organization (the core of the institution) and then build outwards from here.
The executive team must have a clear understanding of what is happening – where significant challenges exist (the “cape”) as well as some way forward that actually gets them on track again (the “rudder”).
There are no off-the-shelf solutions, such as can be found in a “business plan”, because there is no “off the shelf” – these should be created by the organization itself.
Strategic business initiatives do not necessarily require that all employees are involved in identifying them or planning them.