How To Keep Your Strategy On Track
The key to a successful strategy firmly lies in considering the issues in good time and with both care and reliable information. A strategy that is made up as issues and opportunities emerge is doomed to failure for those very reasons.
The temptation in any organisation is just to “bunker down” and get on with the day-to-day problems and requirements of the immediate timeframe. Operational matters always seem to take precedent, but this is a falsehood and a real danger to corporate survival.
The appeal of the immediate crisis cannot be overlooked or ignored making the strategic focus that organisations need more difficult than it needs to be.
There is also a temptation to arrive far too quickly at a strategic option or pathway, grabbing the first idea and running with it. To do so runs the risk of overlooking key information and content that would have made that strategic decision and policy move more viable, more certain and the right pathway to choose.
So, that said, what is the solution?
- Create an environment that is “safe” to discuss issues: make sure that those attending are comfortable to discuss openly topics but also that all present understand what is being discussed and how this will impact upon the organisation. Using external experts is a good idea, especially if this brings greater debate and discussion, within that “safe” environment.
- Separate out operational issues from strategic ones: meetings that have a mixture of short-term agenda items and long-term agenda items are doomed to failure because it is human nature that people will want to focus on the immediate issues, not issues that will impact in several years’ time. By having a clear and determined long-term focus you will be able to resolve problems and plan ahead thereby allowing the organisation to grow and flourish.
- Look at strategy from as many different perspectives as possible: always thoroughly look at strategy from multiple angles so that all present can offer their own individual perceptions. This then allows ideas to be gathered and then shaped into the best possible strategic approach to any problem or developmental opportunity for the organisation.
- Make your decision and act upon it: be clear at the start of the meeting that this is a STRATEGIC meeting and stick to that path, however tempting it might be to deviate into the more immediate, operational issues.
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