As the year draws to an end, it is my hope that one of the items on your checklist is an honest appraisal of how well you performed against your annual strategy.
‘Strategy’ has become somewhat of a buzzword over time. However, it has never been more important than it is today to have a concise and well thought out strategy.
The changing nature of business, globalisation and the advent of technological disruption requires deeper strategic thinking when formulating plans.
All too often we confuse goal setting with strategy. We forget that there are strong resistive forces at play that stop us from achieving progress.
Most strategies today are pie-in-the-sky, vague aspirations, sweeping statements with no substance, or at best, a set of performance goals. They have been dumbed down into simplistic frameworks.
Surprisingly, many savvy business leaders are unable to truly define strategy, referring instead to tactics, goals or objectives as strategy.
An effective strategy is a powerful combination of 3 disciplines
- Acumen: which we can also call insight;
- Allocation: focusing resources, time, talent and budget and making tradeoffs, (it’s as much what you don’t do as what you do)
- Action: which requires focus on the chosen tactics and ways to achieve strategic objectives.
- What are the obstacles that you need to overcome to achieve your goals?
- What’s stopping us from achieving them?
- Which market conditions can we ride on?
- What conditions will make the journey difficult?
- What are our competitors doing?
- How can we differentiate ourselves?
- What’s happening in the business, political and social environment in which your industry operates?
- What’s the current psyche of your client base?
Bad strategy exists when hard choices are avoided, or when you are unwilling or unable to define and explain the nature of the challenge. Once your challenges are identified, you can get to work to identify tactics to mitigate them. And this is what will give you a competitive advantage.
Remember, new growth comes from new thinking. Expecting new growth for your business without new ways of thinking about it is like a farmer expecting a new type of crop to grow without first planting a new type of seed.
I want to challenge you to think deeply about your business strategy for next year and acknowledge the challenges you are facing. Then identify how you could approach the problem and focus your energy and resources on getting it done!
Diagnose. Formulate an approach. Take action.
If you would like a seasoned coach along the way to help you do the above – don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.