Posts tagged strategy
Growth requires adapting

Like all living beings, your business was born, it lives and eventually it will die. Also, like all living beings, as your organization lives & breathes it goes through a series of distinct stages of development. Invention, Incubation, Growth, Stability, Stagnation & Renewal and eventually (hopefully a long, long time from now) Decline & Shut Down.

Each developmental stage of your business is full of it’s own challenges and importantly, it’s own critical factors for success.

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Strategic struggles: faulty thinking

So far, we’ve spent three weeks talking about strategy struggles that all are prone to take place before you even start thinking strategically, but once you actually get into the process you still aren’t home free. Here are three tips for keeping yourself on a firm footing when thinking strategically:

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Strategic struggles: hitting the target

Accurate target shooting combines many things: trigger control, accurate sighting, breathing and correct tension all combine to help you hit the bull’s eye. When you find yourself missing high or low from your aim point, the problem is probably tied to anticipation. You know the gun is going to go off and recoil, so you may slightly raise the gun before it actually fires—increasing the recoil and causing you to miss high—or you push against the recoil early—causing you to miss low.

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Strategic struggles: speaking the same language

Strategy is an abstract concept, there is plenty of room for interpretation. What I mean when I say strategy may differ from what you understand when you hear it. The same is true if I say objective, resource allocation, business activities or any of a dozen other terms likely to come up in our process of thinking strategically.

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Strategic struggles: who has the time?

Take a look at your calendar, I’ll wait.

There’s no time on your calendar for strategic thinking is there? A 2016, Harvard Business Review article stated that 96% of business leaders lack time for strategic thinking. That updates an earlier article stating that 85% of executive teams spend less than one hour a month on strategy with 50% spending no time at all.

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Strategic planning vs. strategic thinking

Developing strategy is a challenge for many business leaders. Not a shocking statement. My friend Lauren told me, and I quote, “I dread it.”

To one degree or another, everyone I spoke with about the post agreed with Lauren that developing strategy is tough. And why is that? Strategy defines so much about what our business is, shouldn’t we as the leaders of our businesses be more comfortable with it than we are?

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3 Basic Questions: Part 3 - How?

Whether starting a new business or continuing to run an existing business, when things go sideways many business owners look to jump straight into the deep end of strategy. If you've been reading this series you know that is definitely not where you want to start. The identity of your organization and where you fit in the marketplace plays a huge role in pointing toward what kind of strategies will work for your business--and more importantly what kind of strategies will never work!

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3 Basic Questions: Part 2 - Why you?

There are a million people out there who are selling solutions to the same problem that your company does. Why should your customer choose you? As a business owner, you better be ready to answer this question. Peers are going to ask it at networking opportunities, consultants and advisers are going to ask it and most importantly--your customer is going to ask.

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