Hint: it’s not in the creation of the strategy.
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. Strategy. Mission and Vision Statements. Corporate culture. ETC, ETC, ETC. I don’t know about you, but I have been through some world class planning sessions and have seen some of the most eloquent, beautifully created strategy documents that, as they were being developed, everyone knew they’d simply become dust magnetics. So, why should you bother? Because it doesn’t matter until it matters, right?
A well-defined corporate strategy helps in many ways. First, it helps ensure the leadership team has a common vision and sense of orientation. Second, it provides a platform to share with the employees a sense for what the future may hold. Third, the development of a strategy forces the leadership team to think critically about the business and what actions need to be taken. Fourth, it helps your team make critical decisions…more to come on this.
So, why the bad rap for these types of documents? I believe it is because most companies don’t really know how to implement a strategy. I recently had a wonderful discussion with a client about ways to share the good work, thoughts, and genuinely positive aspirations that were developed with much deliberation, input from the team, and the advice from valued consultants. Her question was simple…”how do we share this with the team?” Wow, what a great question. How many of us have gone through all of this work and then, at the 5 yard line, simply failed to share it with the team or to make it a part of the company culture?
I can give countless examples of ways to share the news with your team, but, in the end, there needs to be a real desire by the leadership team to implement the work into the daily lives of the employees. So, here we are, the key to a great strategy is implementation. Voltaire, in 1770, argued that “perfect is the enemy of good” and that has a real place in this discussion. Experience has shown that companies spend too much time developing a “perfect” strategy yet, this strategy is never implemented…a great failing. How does this hurt? Why does this matter? Because, in the end, lack of a strategy or the poor execution of a strategy leads to disaster, such as…
- Depressed earnings
- Poor margins
- Mistakes and poor quality
- High turnover
- Disgruntled employees
- The inability to grow your business
- A lower than expected business valuation
- No way to exit your business
- The inability to sell your business
Sound familiar? Let’s talk today!