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Strategy shouldn’t be complicated. Yet there are likely to be members of the same team working on strategy right now, each with a different understanding of what strategy actually is. Let’s put an end to that with a Super Simple Strategy way of thinking.
Start with goal setting. Long-term and short-term goal setting. Before we even think about strategy we need clear objectives.
Even The Cheshire Cat knows that, as illustrated by his smiling response to a directionless Alice:
“If you don’t know where you’re going. Any road will get you there.”
And so it follows that strategy is a path. And it’s our job as business leaders to identify the best path to tread.
Then there’s tactics. Tactics are more concrete. Tangible. Smaller steps and shorter timeframes. Specific plans, initiatives
and resource allocation as you tread the path you set at the strategy stage.
Look, here’s an example.
A business objective could be to position your brand as the most environmentally friendly offer in your category. Because research has shown that there is a massive shift in your customer base’s desire to work with world-kind brands.
A medium term strategic goal could be, ‘Improving sustainability credentials of the factory’. That’s the path.
Once on that path you get tactical. You design out waste at the product development stage. You implement waste minimisation initiatives at the production stage. And maybe you even assess the sustainability credentials of your entire internal operation and external supply chain.
Here’s a summary. In three simple steps.
1. Set a Goal.
Describe the change you want to make – clearly.
Describe what the best things to do are, in order to achieve your goal.
Describe how you’ll achieve each thing you identified in your strategy.
And that’s it.
Why This is Useful
The world is full of businesses doing things (tactics). And they don’t know why they’re doing them (strategy). And that’s wasteful.
A great example is Social Media. You’ll meet lots of business leaders who will say that they have a Social Media Strategy.
Then they will then tell you what platforms they are on and maybe what they post. But they won’t know why they’re doing it.
Other than to raise awareness. And that’s not strategic.
One of the immovable pillars of the Harlands brand is to Move Business Forward. So, for example, we are compelled to invest time and thought into the creation of blog content that is useful for businesses. Because we want businesses to be better tomorrow than they are today. If a business is not moving forwards, it’s moving backwards. And that includes businesses that are standing still, too. Standing still is the same as moving backwards because you can be sure that the best brands in your category won’t be. They’ll be moving their business forward. And you should be on the move too – further and faster than them.
So there you go. Set Goals. Think strategically. Act tactically. And you’ll certainly be taking a step in the right direction.