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Strategy in Action

New ways for our new world

‘Doing’ Strategy

We work with partners who live and work by the words: ‘Strategy isn’t just something you’ve got, it is something that you do’. But what does this mean exactly?

Well, to explain more we share some of the details of our partnership with the pioneering family-owned Security company, Pointer Ltd.

 New ways for our new world

“Everyone at Pointer brings so much to the table. It’s so important that we hear our colleagues’ stories, experiences and views to shape our strategy. The strategy can’t be developed with a ‘top-down’ approach – it needs to reflect the reality of what is happening across the business. This is the approach that will lead our business into the future.”

Sandy Rowan, Director, Pointer Ltd

Pointer's StrategyStory team in conversation with Pointer Director, Sandy Rowan
Pointer’s StrategyStory team in conversation with Pointer Director, Sandy Rowan

That’s where StrategyStory method comes in. It’s an approach to strategy development and delivery which blends the logic of business models and competitive choices with stories about who we are and why we do the things we do. The strategy becomes part of the organisation’s story. And the stories we tell about and to each other at work, become the strategy.

Pointer Ltd – working together for a bright future

As Pointer approaches its 50th anniversary, the leadership team has been working with StrategyStory to secure the next 50 years of the business in a period where uncertainty and change are everywhere. The industry is changing, the technology is changing and Pointer itself has been changing.

The leadership team has been working on the strategy, starting with articulating a challenge for the organisation to address and working out the first steps in meeting that challenge.

As Sandy says, ‘we work with larger clients in key sectors like financial services and the utilities and the work we do is becoming more about partnerships and long-term relationships. Working with StrategyStory has helped us think through what this means for the dynamics of our own business and what kinds of customers we should be targeting.’

Pointer's StrategyStory team in conversation
Pointer’s StrategyStory team in conversation

In parallel, a second team drawn from Pointer’s various offices and specialisms, has been gathering stories. Members of the ‘Story Team’ have been given some training in interviewing and are acting as investigative journalists speaking to people with and beyond Pointer.

“Being a part of the story team has been a great experience, I have learned how to interview people effectively, collect great audio and also some tips and tricks for better visual recording. Overall it has really helped me hone in on my communication skills and I’ve been able to apply this to other parts of my job.

Best of all I have met so many people across the business that I wouldn’t have otherwise had a chance to interact with.”
Samantha Borland, Marketing Co-ordinator, Pointer

The stories being gathered flow in at least two directions. One brings the strategy to life by sharing examples of projects, people, technologies and relationships that seem to exemplify the future that Pointer envisages. Whilst simultaneously, the stories also help shape the strategy by feeding back what resonates, what jars and what connects with audiences within and beyond the organisation. The process highlights what is working  – and where a business can get stuck i.e. what to share and do more of, and what to do less of.

Pointer Engineer Ben Hopper at work
Pointer Engineer at work. The StrategyStory partnership brings the stories of everyone working in the business into the strategy development.

Bringing strategy to life in this way puts people back at the heart of what can be a somewhat clinical set of decisions about markets, business models and competitors. It builds a bridge from the organisation’s past to its future.

Pointer Engineer Ben Hopper interviewing
Bringing people together to share stories: Pointer Engineer Ben Hopper interviewing colleague Gillian McAulay

Many senior roles at Pointer are held by people who trained as apprentices with the firm and that focus on developing people and skills is a cornerstone of the culture. It would be all too easy to let that focus slip as new markets, new customers and new opportunities appear but the StrategyStory approach ensures that Pointer’s unique people focus stays firmly in place.

In the words of Sandy Rowan, ‘first and foremost, our customers come to us because our people have the skills and expertise to help them. We nurture those skills at every level by focusing on our own development. We’re aiming for a very specific niche where we’re big enough to deliver but we’re small enough to care.’

Sound interesting?

Read more about Pointer’s experience of the storytelling aspect of the partnership here.

Liked this? You might enjoy our Demystify Strategy page

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StrategyStory supports businesses to develop strategies that work. This means strategy as collective action rather than a dusty document. We deliver through partnership programmes, online learning, workshops, seminars and public speaking. We deliver lectures, talks and sessions on strategy and storytelling at private and public events.

If you’d like to arrange a conversation, please contact us at hello@strategystory.co.uk

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