Writing the Holding Company Strategic Plan
Alan Kennedy, Strategy Consultant, Canada
I argue in my book, The Alpha Strategies, there are 8 strategies common to all organizations and strategy is implemented by setting expectations. These two concepts can be combined to develop a Holdco plan.
The strategies are business positioning, risk, growth, finances, R&D/technology, organization management, marketing, and service delivery (also known as production or manufacturing). The Holdco strategic plan must describe what each of the 8 strategies are.
Holdco must then describe how it expects the subs to participate in the implementation of the Holdco strategies.
My research finds there are 3 ways to set expectations. They can be rigid, flexible, or laissez-faire.
Some companies, such as big pharmaceuticals, are very rigid in setting out expectations in great detail across all 8. Most companies are flexible and only set expectations across 3 or 4 of the strategies. The last group (e.g. General Electric) set very few but really tough expectations, such as: be #1 in your chosen market.