A quick reality check for your strategy

On one level, running a business is like playing a game.

You have goals you are trying to achieve, competitors who are trying to beat you to it, and a set of rules that govern what you can and can’t do.

Like most complex games, success is dependent on having a sharp strategy and a plan for how you can win that cascades into smaller plans and work streams, to meet the necessary sub-goals.

This is all very well, until your strategy/plan gets so big, so convoluted, and the small goals become so pressing, that you lose track of the most important thing: what winning actually means.

Time and again you’ll see companies aiming to be number one in their market, but where does it get them? There are innumerable examples of companies that stretch to world domination but forget their core.

Made.com bought Trouva in May last year for seemingly sound strategic reasons: it wanted to expand its customer database and market share. But it had already lost its way, forgetting the core strategy to provide short-run, design-led, affordable homewares – and ultimately collapsed before being bought by Next. (Trouva, meanwhile, was recently acquired by Re:store.)

This would be a good time to revisit Simon Sinek’s mantra, and start with why. Look at the purpose of your business, and ask ‘does my 50-page strategy document actually reflect that purpose, or is my purpose lost in it’?

Even then it’s not easy. Purpose can often be quite abstract – a restaurant chain’s might be ‘wholesome food at affordable prices’; a holiday company’s could be ‘precious memories for all the family’. It’s not entirely clear from these ‘whys’ what the ‘how’ might look like.

The missing element is the other side of purpose: the fact that as a business we need cash, profit and sales, like a human being needs air, water and nourishment.

By holding every decision, as well as the overall strategy and plan, against this dual yardstick – does it serve our purpose, and does it pay the bills? – you can keep yourself grounded, and make sure that for all its cleverness your strategy and plan get the basics right.

So in the spirit of radical openness… I would love your opinion on ORESA’s very own purpose statement? Does it resonate with you? Are we being true to ourselves? Your quick clicks/comments would be most appreciated:

‘To inspire and accelerate good growth through strategy, people and community’

Through organisational consulting ORESA strategises and more importantly helps companies plan for growth. To find out more, have a look at our services here.

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Growth and Leadership

We demystify challenges by fresh thinking and seeking continual improvement. Browse our content here.

We demystify challenges by fresh thinking and seeking continual improvement. Browse our content here.