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Control Processes in the Strategic Learning Cycle

Once you've articulated your strategic vision, objectives and values, and crafted your implementation plan of action, the fourth phase in the Strategic Learning Cycle is to control your execution.

The strategic control framework usually consists of 4 components:
  • Measurement: the first level of control is to measure whether you are achieving your strategic objectives - see How to measure success against strategic vision and objectives . Measurement also provides the data on which the other 3 components depend.
  • Risks and Issues Management: your measurement system should help you to monitor the risks to your strategy and identify any issues as early as is possible.
  • Feedback: identified issues provide feedback. The Strategic Learning Cycle provides 2 feedback loops. The first loop returns to planning and implementation - plans are adjusted and efforts are redoubled, but the strategy itself remains unchanged. The second feedback loop returns to analysis - if the conditions on which the original analysis was based are found to not have been true or to have changed, then reworking the analysis may lead you to change the strategy itself.
  • Governance: finally it is important to have a good governance framework in place. This ensures that the right information reaches the right people at the right time, and empowers those people to use it to make decisions in a suitably transparent manner. (By contrast, poor governance suppresses or obscures information and allows decisions to be made based on special interests.)

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