Strategy mapping is regarded as an effective tool to develop a sound strategy and communicate it to the stakeholders involved. Bryson (2012) notes that this method is acquiring more and more popularity as it is comprehensive and comparatively easy to implement. To understand the way strategy mapping contributes to the development of organizations, it is possible to consider the way an organization utilized the tool. Glacier Inn’s experience will be analyzed. The strategy created with the help of the tool is sound and effective. It is also easy to implement as it is clear to the stakeholders whose commitment is likely to increase. It becomes clear that the major focus should be made on the overriding objective that should be economic in nature (Armitage & Scholey, 2006). Other vital areas are customer strategies, financial and internal practices perspectives, and learning and growth strategies. It is clear that the use of strategy mapping is beneficial for organizations as it facilitates the process of strategy development and its communication to employees.
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First, it is necessary to mention that the organization in question is an ice hotel established in Northern Minnesota. This ice hotel that has a museum (where visitors have to pay a fee). The first year showed that the owners’ expectations were unlikely to be met unless some changes were implemented. The strategy mapping process started with the identification of the overriding economic objective (Armitage & Scholey, 2006). Jones (2016) also argues that the major objective should be economic as it helps to remain focused and assess the performance efficiently. Armitage and Scholey (2006) add that the objective should have a particular period for implementation. Clearly, this will help the management estimate the effectiveness of the strategy and introduce some changes if necessary.
Choosing the value proposition is another essential step to implement as it is critical to understand the aspects customers will value most and will be ready to pay for. The management of the hotel decided to focus on unique experiences, which was a wise choice. The visitors could have some tours associated with environmental issues (walking tours, fishing, and so on). This can be regarded as a key element since the hotel could attract more customers. To enhance this strategy, it is possible to pay more attention to environmental and social responsibility aspects. Rae and Sands (2013) stress that the incorporation of these elements into strategy mapping translates into mid- and long-term financial gains. Nevertheless, even the focus on tours aimed at bringing people closer to nature will be beneficial as they can attract many people tired of the urban setting. It is possible to note that the chosen value proposition based on the idea of provision of a unique environmental adventure is likely to enable the organization to achieve the objectives set.
The next step is the focus on financial strategies development. Glacier Inn concentrated on the development of its capacity (associated with services provided, staff, and management) (Armitage & Scholey, 2006). The organization decided to increase cash flow through enhancing its productivity. The choice of the customer strategies is closely related to the financial strategies and value proposition. The hotel’s management ensured that the value developed could be outlined through the customer strategies developed. The strategies involved the focus on the provision of new services associated with adventure (new meals, new tours, new experiences, and so on). The next step is the development of internal perspective strategies or, in other words, particular operations the company will carry out to realize the strategies mentioned above (Jones, 2016). Glacier Inn focused on the development of features mentioned, marketing its unique services, hiring and training the staff. Clearly, the organization created a map of interrelated elements, and this consistency was beneficial for the organizational development.
The final step implies the focus on growth and learning strategies. The company came up with a set of measures that allowed it to have the human capital capable of achieving the organizational goals. The strategies developed involved hiring young people committed to principles of sustainability and collaboration with some educational establishments to utilize the latest advances in the sphere of ice preservation and production (Armitage & Scholey, 2006). Importantly, the map included an important element associated with the development of the strong culture that could align organizational goals with individual ones.
The brief analysis of major steps of strategy mapping in a particular case shows that the practice is an effective tool that can be employed in many settings. The map outlines the major objectives and particularly manageable methods to achieve them. Strategy mapping has a number of valuable benefits. First, it facilitates the process of strategy development. It provides a particular template involving the most vital areas to focus on when creating a viable strategy. Importantly, many managers fail to create a sound strategy as they do not go into detail (Jones, 2016).
Apart from the guidance for the development of a strategy, the tool is instrumental in communicating the strategy to employees. It is rather hard to estimate which element (developing or communicating) is more important. The map includes the description of major steps to undertake. Employees can see the organizational goals and a specific roadmap where all the steps and concepts are interconnected. Importantly, the map can also be regarded as a platform for sharing ideas. Employees can provide their feedback concerning the operations outlined. The discussion can result in the development of more effective practices. The employees will participate in their development, which will make them more committed. Besides, organizations can also use the map to communicate its strategy to other stakeholders. Sponsors, investors, and various partners are often interested in the way the organization wants to develop.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that strategy mapping is an essential tool for the development of an efficient organizational strategy. The mapping implies attention to outlining objectives as well as financial, customer, learning and growth, and internal perspectives. The strategy mapping process at Glacier Inn shows that the organization managed to address its issues and facilitate its growth through the creation of an effective strategy. The tool can also be regarded as an illustration of major steps to be undertaken. Organizations should remember that all the elements of the map have to be interconnected. Moreover, the map should be detailed and comprehensive, which will make it easy to read and comprehend. This is specifically important for communicating the organizational strategy. The employees will be able to see the goals and methods to address them. This clarity will make them more committed as they will be able to align organizational goals with their individual objectives. Therefore, it is possible to note that strategy mapping can be utilized to develop an effective organizational strategy.
Armitage, H., & Scholey, C. (2006). Using strategy maps to drive performance. Web.
Bryson, J. M. (2012). Strategic planning and management. In B. G. Peters & J. Pierre (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of public administration (pp. 50-65). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Jones, P. (2016). Strategy mapping for learning organizations: Building agility into your balanced scorecard. New York, NY: CRC Press.
Rae, K., & Sands, J. (2013). Creating sustainable benefits for stakeholders of organizations using the strategy mapping framework. E-Journal of Social & Behavioral Research in Business, 4(2), 14-33.