With over 11 years of experience in helping clients create, execute, improve and achieve their strategies, we’ve heard it all. There are many truths, half truths and porky pies told about business strategy that often leave business owners and leaders unsure about the relevance of strategy.
1. Strategy is only created by the leaders in a business.
You don’t know what you don’t know. As a senior leadership team, it’s likely there are quick wins, ideas and pain points your team or customers are experiencing that you’re not even aware about. Getting feedback from your stakeholders is a critical step in the strategic planning process and plays an important role in formulating a strategy that looks at the business holistically. Your teams, customers, members or volunteers can make incredible contributions to the strategy when they’re given the right platform to share.
2. Strategy happens once a year.
Many businesses fall into the trap of thinking strategy only happens once a year. It’s all about a day of planning between the management team, and then everyone goes back to business-as-usual. While it’s important to dedicate at least 1-2 days annually to the planning part of strategy, the execution, monthly reviews and quarterly resets are just as important. Without the an effective operating rhythm that holds project owners accountable, strategy sits on the side-lines and is forgotten about until the end of year review when the mad scramble to catch-up kicks in! Our Strategy programs have a winning formula that ensures our clients’ strategies actually get done.
3. Strategy should be high-level.
The myth is partly true. Strategy is high-level and nitty gritty. It involves your long term “Moonshot” goals, your vision, purpose and values that are the guiding principles for your team to operate within. But it’s also detailed and action-oriented. It should include SMART goals that have clear end dates and ownership of actions. Without the cascading of the big 3 year actions, down to 12 month priorities and quarterly actions, it’s almost guaranteed the strategy won’t get done. Sometimes this is harder than it looks because you can’t be 100% certain on what the year ahead looks like and what hurdles you may be faced with when you’re committing to the quarterly actions. But by designing your strategy and rhythm to review how it’s tracking regularly, you’re able to pivot, iterate and improve the strategy along the way.