Apparently 65% of children entering primary grades in school right now will go on to hold jobs that currently do not exist. What does that mean the future will look like? And how will the structures, processes, systems, etc., of your business need to prepare for that future? Avoiding looking at what you currently have, in order to be ready for that future, is dangerous! Think Kodak… and countless others that no longer exist.
When developing a strategy to take you and/or your business forward, you need to look backwards. Why is that so important? There are some basic current strategic elements that always need to be considered when building plans for the future. Namely:
Just like the genome make-up of all living creatures, organizations have a DNA that has evolved from the strengths and weaknesses of the culture, the team, and the systems and processes. This ‘Organizational DNA,’ will allow the business to leverage strengths required for the next phase in growth and highlight weaknesses that need to be mitigated.
What adjacent opportunities are there that you need to prepare for? And by ‘adjacent,’ think that the ultimate goal is to become a ‘big fish in a small pond.’ How do you get to the next biggest pond in which to grow without having to change what kind of fish you are?
There are forces of evil out there conspiring to ‘eat your lunch.’ There needs to be a thorough uncovering of who they are and how you can out-smart them.
When you do a thorough dive into the three above, you may come up with a list that fills pages and pages of flip-chart paper (always do this with your team).
Next thing you want to do is simplify it by prioritizing the Top 5 in each of the four categories (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) that you need to focus on. You will now have a total list of 20.
Now, rank each one of the 20 from 1 to 10 based on your Relative Strength compared to your competitors (1 = you suck compared to a competitor; 10 = you are the one to chase).
Again, rank each one of the 20 from 1 to 10 based on the Strategic Importance to customers in the market you want to serve.
Now plot them on a grid (see below).
The ‘story’ that emerges in the red and green circles above are the areas that you need to focus on going forward to build a strong business strategy.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, International Keynote Speaker, and TEC Top Speaker of the Year for 2018. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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