Today we will be talking about strategy. At first glance these tips and hints may look like they apply purely to business. But please take a closer look, as a lot of these tips can also apply to parenting. A parent needs to have a strategy in place to both build a child’s character and to discipline him or her. Parents also need to have an agreed-upon game plan, a plan that everyone buys into and one that is easily remembered by all. And, we all need to have some fun along the way!
It is a leader’s responsibility to create a winning strategy. The strategy must accurately define how it will enable the organization to succeed, grow, prosper and beat the competition by becoming the customer’s choice.
A successful strategy must be bold, creative, and well thought-out with the execution of the strategy in mind. It also must guide change, be easily communicated, create commitment and passion, and convince people that the intended outcomes are worth pursuing even when the going gets tough.
Do we need to be the boss to be involved in setting a strategy? Absolutely not. I mentioned earlier how a strategy relates to parenting—it also relates to every position in every organization. If you utilize this thinking in your role, whether it is in administration, management, as a salesperson, a leader, a secretary, or CEO, you will create a game plan for achieving your intentions.
My wife Amanda Gore (www.AmandaGore.com) alerts people to the fact that everyone can be a CEO:
- Chief Excellence Officer
- Chief Enthusiasm Officer
- Chief Energy Officer
- Chief Encouragement Officer
- Chief Excitement Officer
- Chief Enjoyment Officer
- And many more… think of your own CEO roles!
How true is this? We can all be a CEO, and if we go about our roles thinking like this we will be more successful, and most importantly, more joyful!
Most senior leaders are adept at developing strategy. Yet strategy is primarily about choice. Leaders need to choose what to do, what not to do, know their competition, their strategy, and the strengths and weaknesses of their team.
But once the strategy is in place the next big challenge is execution!
The following are some of the reasons why implementation is more difficult than developing strategy:
- Many senior leaders believe their role is finished when strategy is in place. They are trained to plan and strategize and believe implementation is the domain of middle management.
- Strategy is set by a small number of people whilst implementation is done by a much larger group. In the cases of a business strategy, this involves implementation by the entire team.
- Clearly communicating the inevitable changes to successfully implement through the organization becomes a major ongoing challenge.
You should get to know your competitors’ strategies because they will know yours. In the financial services industry I have found that every player has a strategic theme along the following lines:
- Their value proposition is to lower the cost of serving existing customers.
- Acquire new profitable customers.
- Cross-sell to deepen the relationships with existing customers.
Within a particular industry the players’ strategic themes will be very similar.
This is why implementation is the key!
Superior implementation starts with great strategy. To ensure strategy continues to be relevant and feasible, I recommend frequent reviews. The frequency of reviews can be determined by the complexity of the strategy and business results. Even if appearing to be going smoothly, I recommend at least a twice-yearly strategic review.
The review will cover:
- Corporate Strategy
- Business Strategy
- Strategic Theme
- Key performance Indicators
- Game Plan
- Balanced Scorecard
- Dashboard Report
- Celebrating Successes
Now that we have communicated our business strategy to the team, it’s time to obtain their buy-in to our game plan. The game plan, formulated with the team, needs to be simple yet focused and linked back to strategy. It should be clear to everyone that sticking to the game plan will achieve the business strategy.
And the game plan should be both agreed-upon by the team and easily remembered—ideally of four or five points—and communicated constantly, ensuring everyone knows it by heart.
By Ken Wright – to find our how you can improve your strategic skills send me a message – ken@Engage4Results.com