THE WORD ‘STRATEGY’ IS OFTEN OVERUSED BUT THE CONCEPT ISIMPORTANT. IN FACT IT IS VITAL TO THE SUCCESS OF ANY COMPANY. BUT TO BE VITAL, IT NEEDS TO BE GOOD.
All too often what we think is a strategy, is actually a goal supported by values. Or a vision statement with no admittance of a problem.
In my experience, many people simply forget, in the maze of jargon and buzzwords, what strategy actually means: How you are going to get something done. Think of the strategies of companies you have worked with or in, how many could you say fit this definition?
Let’s take a look what makes up a good strategy and what often appears in bad ones.
Here at Futrsmpl we strongly believe that your business strategy should revolve around how you deliver a client need in a way that no one else currently does.
These top tips have been adapted from Richard Rumelts best selling book Good Strategy/Bad Strategy – definitely worth a read.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD STRATEGY:
An Identified Problem/Challenge – What do you need to overcome to get to your goal, what problem is in your way? What challenge are you facing?
A Direction – There can be many ways to approach a challenge, which route are you going to take?
An Action – How will you overcome your obstacle?
A good strategy should contain all of these things, and I mean all, lose just one and it will have a negative impact on your business.
WHAT MAKES A BAD STRATEGY:
Fluff – a convoluted, jargon filled phase that sounds impressive. We’ve all been there, we all just hope someone knows what it means.
Failure to face the challenge – no identified problem, there must be a problem, it is not weak to admit it. There is always a problem otherwise you would have already reached you goals.
Mistaking goals for strategy – Many bad strategies are long term goals using values as a kind of direction rather than having any kind of path.
Not all strategies are purely bad, but if our experience (and many of those at the Harvard Business Review) is anything to go by, not many are truly good.
SO HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOUR BUSINESS STRATEGY IS A GOOD ONE?
To start with, write it down. Whether it is word for word the company line, or your interpretation – both are equally valid for this exercise. (A really interesting exercise: get a few people from the same company to right down what they believe is the company strategy – but I’ll save that for another blog)
Does it clearly state the problem you need to overcome? Could it be clearer? Take out the business speak and see if you can word it so 5 year old can understand.
Does it say how you intend to overcome the problem? Do you truly understand how that is going to happen?
Does it say which direction you are taking to get to your goal? Is it precise or vague? Could it be misinterpreted? How can you limit the misinterpretation?
And in the plainest of terms – does it meet the definition? does it say how you are going to get something done?
If your strategy can answer these question with confidence – Congratulations! It sounds like you have a good one on your hands.
If the answers to these questions gives you cause for concern, we would be more than happy to help. Get in touch now for a free, no obligation consultation or attend one of our upcoming masterclasses.