I often hear from business people and more particularly, in my field, from tourism executives who talk in grand terms about strategy. Strategy is not always about being grand and lofty. I would dare to say that most of the time, it really isn’t at all. It’s out right down and boring most of the time but nevertheless, it is crucial to a company’s competitive survival. It would surprise you to know that many companies don’t bother to have a business strategy plan and even less so take the time to review and renew it on an annual basis when they do have one. The old adage that “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” does not really hold water anymore in today’s highly competitive and innovative economic landscape. Who would have thought you could reinvent the taxi business or the travel agency model a few years ago! Uber and Expedia proved those theories wrong.
Your strategy, be it to maintain your present business levels, or to venture into new markets must be a nimble, actionable and measurable living and breathing story the whole company gets behind. You cannot afford to have it sit on a shelf and collect dust.
I often like to use the analogy of a plane taking off. Before pilots even starts to rev the engines they check the plane to make sure all is in working order and review their flight plan. The flight plan tells them the route to take, speed, altitude, fuel burn and time it will take them to reach their planned destination. However, while in flight, if the plane confronts heavy weather, a storm, turbulence, etc. the flight plan is altered to avoid disaster and insure everyone gets to the destination safely. A business plan is much the same. First, you need to assess that your company is in working order and can deliver on the promise you will make to your clients. Don’t underestimate this process and don’t make offers and promises you can’t deliver on. Your clients will hold you to it. So, know who you are and what you can truly deliver. It’s better to under promise and over deliver then to over promise and under deliver. Once your plan and strategies are in place and in motion, make sure to monitor and test them regularly. If the results are not there or you see trouble ahead don’t be afraid to make some changes. No strategic plan can anticipate unforeseeable forces baring down. Hence, why your plan must be nimble and actionable.
Once your plan and strategies are all agreed upon, make sure to share the plan with your employees as they are the ones who will deliver on it. Time and time again, we see top executives not sharing the company’s strategies and goals with employees for a multitude of reasons. Error number one. Knowledge is power and empowering your people will make the whole organization rise above the competition.
I recently came across Jack Welsh’s (former CEO and Chairman of GE and now Chairman of the Jack Welsh Management Institute) video vignette below that best describes how to approaches strategy. It is simple but truly effective.
FLOOR13 believes that a well-planned strategy will have a direct impact on your companies bottom-line if well developed, deployed and executed.