Is Your Strategy Inverted?

Shawn Casemore • No Comment
Posted: January 12, 2015

As we enter the second week of 2015, you’ve likely already identified your strategic objectives for this year. But, if you’re like many of my clients the thought of how you will actually achieve your objectives can be a little bit daunting.

Late last year I spoke at the Chartered Professional Accountants Association’s annual conference on Strategy. During the talk I discussed the fact that most strategies fail because we approach achieving our strategy backwards. There is often more time invested in formulating the strategy then there is in actually doing the work to deliver on the strategy. This approach is what I call “Strategy Inverted.”

Of course, it’s important to have a strategy to provide confidence in the direction of the business, but the strategy itself is completely useless if there is little time or energy invested in moving it towards fruition.

Here are a few of the ideas I shared at the conference that will help you set your strategy (and yourself) up for success in 2015:

1. Diversity Gives You Legs: The greater the diversity of ideas that go into formulating a strategy, the more robust the outcomes. By engaging with employees, suppliers, board members and customers while formulating the strategy and action plans you can ensure that all ideas and opportunities are taken into account, producing a strategy that has legs.
2. Collaboration Creates Commitment: It’s not uncommon for one person to dominate discussions surrounding the strategy, however if their input overrules or quashes the ideas of others then the strategy simply won’t survive. Collaboration builds commitment in those participating as the objectives are no longer “what the boss wants,” but “what we want.
3. Simplicity Supports Success: When Jack Welch decided that GE’s strategy was to be #1 or #2 in any industry they participated in, the direction and resulting decisions were crystal clear for everyone. Increasing complexity does not correlate to increasing value. By keeping strategic objectives and actions plans simple, there is little that can stand in the way of achievement.Make this the year that you stop formulating an inverted strategy by including diverse ideas, collaborative decisions and simplistic actions.
Question: How are you going to ensure you achieve your strategic objectives in 2015?
© Shawn Casemore 2015. All rights reserved.

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