Forfas is Ireland’s national policy and advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation operating under the auspices of the Irish Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. In mid 2007 Martin Cronin, the Chief Executive, embarked on a strategy review. His concern was to ensure a critical, questioning approach to the review and, with this in mind, he sought proposals to facilitate the process and selected Gerry Johnson.
Martin continues the story:
“Gerry’s involvement brought some very important dimensions to what we were doing. First he posed us clear and searching questions which helped us identify the key issues we faced. In particular he challenged us to ask if we were clear about the competencies we had which our clients valued most, and how we deployed them. This led to deliberations about the extent to which we should develop our strategy around those competencies rather than as an extension of what we had done in the past”
“What was also useful was an introduction by Gerry to a common set of concepts that we were able to work with at board level, at top team level and throughout the organisation. It meant we were able to have a meaningful strategy debate around the same ideas across the organisation.”
“There were two major outcomes to our strategy review. The first was a strategy that we felt confident about because it was based on sound strategic thinking and analysis across the organization. The second was more to do with the way we develop and deploy strategy. I think we had set out believing that this review was about developing a new strategic plan: a document if you like. It turned out that developing our strategy became a journey we are all embarking on. And we will learn more about that strategy as we go.”