Nearly everyone wants a good strategy. Being more strategic will pay off big when the strategy you plan for is the right strategy. Why do so many teams and businesses get sideswiped with strategy failures?
The first mistake that many organizations make is that they hire the wrong strategy consultant (doing it internally, without external expertise, may also be a mistake).
Who is the wrong consultant? The consultant who believes he or she is the only one for the job and the consultant who believes strategic planning is about a SWOT analysis. Both are wrong.
Strategic planning includes much more than a SWOT, much more than asking about problems, and much more than suggesting do X and you’ll achieve Y.
One example is the strategy of how the business will use its time. Time is something you’ll never get back. Yes, you can start again but if the competition didn’t have to, good luck catching up.
Restaurant owners understand time. Bad weather and nobody comes in for dinner. That revenue is lost forever. When your patrons choose to eat at home that is a meal you’ll never get back. The day is lost, the time is lost, gone.
The business that ships a commodity product understands time. When your customer waits the threat of the customer seeking a different vendor is pending. Being the quickest is likely linked to your brand. If it takes too long, business may be lost, gone, done. Forever.
Then there is the business that is built around value. The confusing part of value is understanding where you waste your time.
Value is subjective and having just enough is good. Doing more than enough could arguably be a waste of time. Working towards perfection takes time, and you’ll miss everyone who wants it the quickest.
Too many strategy planners get stuck in the moment of assessing what the company wants to do and confusing that with what the company needs to do.
Creating a clever mission statement is good. Stating you’ll become the best in your region, state, or the nation may be a want, but that has nothing to do with understanding how you’ll position for that achievement.
Don’t want to waste your time? Strategy failures often develop from the first mistake you make.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.