How Do You Ensure Sustainability in Strategies for Clients?


    How Do You Ensure Sustainability in Strategies for Clients?

    In the quest for sustainable success, we've gathered insights from a diverse group of experts, including HR coaches and CEOs, to share their wisdom on long-term strategy development for clients. From crafting simple, flexible, aligned strategies to establishing lifelong schedules and routines, explore the fourteen valuable perspectives we've compiled to drive sustainability and impact in your client strategies.

    • Craft Simple, Flexible, Aligned Strategies
    • Focus on Accountability and Roadmaps
    • Align Learning with Organizational Goals
    • Define Goals, Establish Accountability Structures
    • Align Franchise Opportunities with Long-Term Goals
    • Create Value through Quality and Strengths
    • Set Benchmarks, Use Measurement Tools
    • Reduce Carbon Footprints with Efficient Solutions
    • Integrate ESG Criteria and Client Engagement
    • Plan Fundraising with Future Generations in Mind
    • Review Strategies, Adjust to Market Changes
    • Implement Brain-Friendly Change Strategies
    • Use VOC Research for Sustainable Campaigns
    • Establish Lifelong Schedules and Routines

    Craft Simple, Flexible, Aligned Strategies

    In my experience, ensuring sustainability in client strategies requires simplicity, flexibility, alignment, consensus, and realism.

    1. A strategy should be simple yet ambitious, providing a clear direction that can be easily communicated and understood. I like to create a one-pager (backed up by further detail) to help delivery teams focus on implementation without confusion.

    2. Flexibility is crucial; the strategy is the North Star, not the to-do list, so it can adapt while keeping the organization on track towards its ultimate goals. To achieve this, I recommend ensuring the purpose of each aspect is clear—why is it important to include?

    3. Alignment between the strategy and on-the-ground activities is essential for meaningful impact. A well-documented strategy helps to identify interdependencies and ensures that initiatives are effective and cohesive.

    4. Consensus is not the same as agreement—while complete agreement on every detail isn't necessary, when people understand and accept the trade-offs, and why they've been agreed upon, they are more likely to stick to the plan and not go off-piste.

    5. Lastly, a strategy must be realistic and meaningful at all levels, supported by regular communications, consistently linking objectives to organizational goals. People forget, get lost in the detail or distracted by urgent demands, and need regular reminders of the North Star and why it's there.

    Gemma Bullivant
    Gemma BullivantHR Coach & Consultant, Gemma Bullivant HR & Coaching

    Focus on Accountability and Roadmaps

    There are four main areas I focus on to ensure sustainability and long-term impact when developing strategies for clients: accountability, roadmaps, impact assessment, and a train-the-trainer approach. Accountability ensures that all stakeholders in a project are held responsible for their roles and contributions, fostering transparency and trust. A well-defined roadmap provides a clear plan of action, outlining key milestones, deliverables, and timelines to guide the project to successful completion. Impact assessment evaluates the effectiveness and outcomes of the project, identifying areas of improvement and ensuring that the objectives are met. The train-the-trainer approach empowers key individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to teach others, promoting sustainability and scalability of the project initiatives.

    Hannah Stegen
    Hannah StegenCo-Founder and Chief Product Officer, CultureAlly

    Align Learning with Organizational Goals

    In developing strategies for my clients, I focus on creating sustainable solutions that drive long-term performance improvements. I work closely with leadership to align learning initiatives with broader organizational goals and culture, ensuring buy-in at all levels. By emphasizing skills application, continuous feedback loops, and measurable outcomes, I help embed new behaviors and mindsets that stick far beyond any single training event. Additionally, I equip internal champions with the tools to carry forward the change effort, fostering a culture of ongoing learning and development within the organization.

    William Ryan
    William RyanFounder & Principal Consultant, Ryan Consulting, LLC

    Define Goals, Establish Accountability Structures

    Sustainability and ongoing value generation of strategies, business transformation, and/or change adoption is dependent on 1) defining an ostentatious goal that resonates and reverberates across the organization, 2) establishing the accountability structure to drive ownership and effective decision-making toward progress, 3) aligning on a roadmap that is achievable with real points of value realized and avoids overwhelming the organization, and 4) reinforcement by leadership and the embedded culture to communicate, demonstrate, and engage in the actions and share in the achievement.

    Adam Hartstein
    Adam HartsteinSenior Principal Consultant, Point B

    Align Franchise Opportunities with Long-Term Goals

    I ensure sustainability and long-term impact in strategies for clients by focusing on aligning franchise opportunities with the clients' long-term goals, skills, and financial capabilities. I conduct thorough due diligence on franchisors, evaluating their support systems, adaptability to market changes, and track record of franchisee success. By analyzing industry trends and market forecasts, I help potential franchisees select franchises with strong growth potential and the ability to evolve with changing consumer demands. I emphasize the importance of ongoing education and adaptability, encouraging the candidates to stay informed about industry developments. Additionally, I maintain long-term relationships with clients, offering continued support and guidance to help them navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities for sustainable growth. This comprehensive approach ensures that the strategies developed have a lasting, positive impact on their entrepreneurial journey.

    Tamika Franklyn
    Tamika FranklynFranchise Consultant, Precision Franchise

    Create Value through Quality and Strengths

    As any Org Dev Professional knows, we do not walk in with the answer. We walk in fully prepared and armed with great questions that, when explored, will surface root-cause analysis approaches. Within root causes, the solution will emerge.

    Sustainability happens when your value is created through the quality of your work that addresses pain points while capitalizing on strengths.

    Cora Lonning
    Cora LonningTalent Optimization Consultant, CCL Ventures, LLC

    Set Benchmarks, Use Measurement Tools

    To ensure sustainability and long-term impact in the strategies we develop for clients, we focus on several key elements: KPIs and goals, measurement tools, and analytics.

    First, we establish a specific set of benchmarks and goals tailored to the client's unique needs and market conditions. This involves a thorough understanding of their business objectives, target audience, and competitive landscape.

    Next, we provide or build a tool that clients can use internally to measure their progress. This tool is designed to offer continual and ongoing measurement, providing clear insights into whether the strategy is on track or off track. By consistently monitoring these metrics, clients can make informed decisions and adjustments in real-time, ensuring their marketing efforts remain aligned with their goals.

    We emphasize the importance of flexibility and adaptability. The digital landscape is constantly evolving, so our strategies include regular review sessions where we analyze performance data, assess market changes, and update our approach as needed. This iterative process helps maintain the relevance and effectiveness of the marketing strategy over time.

    By combining well-defined benchmarks, a practical measurement tool, and a commitment to ongoing evaluation, we create sustainable and impactful digital marketing strategies that drive long-term success for our clients.

    Megumi Reagan
    Megumi ReaganDigital Marketing Consultant, Human Focus Digital

    Reduce Carbon Footprints with Efficient Solutions

    One of the things I try to do is avoid solutions that require huge amounts of processing. Usually, this means avoiding AI solutions, as they consume far more power than comparable hand-coded algorithms. This allows me to significantly reduce the carbon footprints for my clients.

    Cedar MilazzoConsultant

    Integrate ESG Criteria and Client Engagement

    Ensuring sustainability and long-term impact in our strategies involves a multifaceted approach. As consultants, we prioritize client engagement to understand diverse perspectives and needs. We align business objectives with sustainable practices by integrating ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria into our planning. Continuous monitoring and adaptive management allow us to respond to changing conditions and emerging trends while building preparedness for crises. We also emphasize transparent reporting and communication to build trust and accountability. This holistic strategy ensures that our clients not only achieve immediate goals but also contribute to lasting positive change and help them realize their long-term vision.

    Shreya Kamath
    Shreya KamathConsultant, Montfort Communication

    Plan Fundraising with Future Generations in Mind

    Sustainability and long-term impact are core concerns for fundraising campaigns and strategic planning. On the organizational planning side, leaders should be thinking beyond the immediate, evaluating how they will adapt and change as their clients and recipients change. We also help nonprofits consider how changes in society will impact both the mission and needs of their organization. This can have a tremendous impact on fundraising strategy: the organizations that are thinking long-term, that are impact-focused, and that are the most inclusive in their donor engagement will not only have the best results—they'll be engaging a future generation of donors that will greatly impact their sustainability. When we counsel and partner with an organization, we're not just asking 'What's next?' we're helping them consider 'What might be…,' and rally supporters around truly transformative change.

    Lee Ernst
    Lee ErnstCEO, JGA

    Review Strategies, Adjust to Market Changes

    Sustainability in strategy comes from recognizing that the strategy needs to stand alone, independent of the tactics used to carry it out. It is set by clearly understanding who you want to serve (your 'Ideal Client') and how you will serve them differently—and better—than everyone else vying for their attention. Strategy is guided by your 'why.' However, strategies are not monolithic and must be periodically reviewed and adjusted to keep up with changing market conditions and client needs. Long-term impact comes from keeping your finger on the pulse of how well the tactics implementing your strategy are working and constantly tuning those tactics to ensure they are serving your clients and your strategy as effectively as possible.

    Jeff Stec
    Jeff StecFounder & Principal Consultant, Tylerica Marketing Systems

    Implement Brain-Friendly Change Strategies

    All change is brain change. Any strategies we implement with clients must account for the fact that the brain hates starting a new behavior because one of its primary goals is to save energy. So, change has to be simple, easy to apply, and use as little neural energy as possible. One way to do this is to 'piggy-back' on an existing habit—so we 'tweak' a behavior by doing something similar but different enough to move the needle in the direction we want to move. We can only sustain change for long-term impact if we understand how the brain functions, so that's an integral part of any strategy aimed at any type of change.

    Delia McCabe, PhD
    Delia McCabe, PhDConsultant, Lighter Brighter You!

    Use VOC Research for Sustainable Campaigns

    I tailor my clients' strategies so they're based on Voice of Customer (VOC) research and flexible enough to change as more information comes in. The data collected from every campaign you run is essential in building a sustainable strategy because it means you aren't blindly making decisions. Instead, you're iterating and improving on what you're doing now based on real numbers.

    For example, I worked with a client to create a lead-generation campaign. Since this was their first time running ads, I conducted VOC research about their target audience so the copy for the ads, landing page, thank you page, and subsequent emails matched their expectations and the client's offer.

    Part of the strategy for this campaign included:

    - Running multiple ads over six months

    - Testing copy and imagery

    - Adjusting the creative after analyzing each campaign's metrics

    I recommend that collecting VOC data and reviewing your stats become part of your company's process so that any adjustments to your overall strategy are grounded in data and continue to make a lasting impact.

    Teni Hallums
    Teni HallumsDigital Messaging Consultant , Teni Hallums | Digital Messaging Consultant

    Establish Lifelong Schedules and Routines

    When I work with clients, I help them establish lifelong schedules and routines. When everyone understands the importance of a set schedule and follows the same routine, there are fewer surprises when it comes to bedtime, leaving the house in the morning, or any other time there might be a meltdown or resistance.

    Young children crave routines and boundaries in their lives, so if you follow the same pattern every day, they know what to expect and will have fewer tantrums when asked to do something. For example, if bedtime includes reading books, ask your young child to choose two to three books. If you stick to that routine, they will not stall at bedtime and will look forward to reading with you before going to sleep.

    I have also found that establishing routines helps as children grow and become independent. They often follow the same routines that they did when they were a child, and that helps them stay on track. For example, in our family, we always pack our backpacks at night. My children all tell me that in college they still get their backpacks ready at night.

    Carla Perl
    Carla PerlPediatric Sleep and Toddler Behavior Consultant, Slumberland Solutions