You may have heard me say that I love riding motorcycles. One of the most intriguing things about riding a motorcycle is how much traction you can get from such a small patch of rubber making contact with the pavement. If you have ever watched motorcycle races on television where the riders look like they are about to fall off the motorcycle, then you know what I am talking about. Now, change the dynamics from a wet to a dry road, or throw some loose gravel in the mix, and suddenly traction becomes significantly more challenging.
A small change in the environment will completely change the outcome.
Contrast this to business strategy and you will find significant parallels. The best-laid plans can quickly go awry if preparation is misaligned with the environment.
When developing a strategy, it is important to spend time considering the factors that may impact the strategy; for example, what are the social, political, environmental, and economic factors that exist on the horizon?
When considering these factors, incorporate them into the following questions to gain further perspective:
1. What are the factors that could impact your business in the next one to three years?
2. To what degree might they have impact on your products, services, or customers?
3. Who can you engage to interpret and respond to these factors?
4. How might you mitigate any potential risks that present themselves?
5. Are there opportunities to exploit these changes for a competitive advantage?
You may be able to connect the rubber with the road, but there are always variables to consider that can completely change the direction of your trip. By considering what lies on the horizon, it’s possible to formulate a strategy that achieves your vision. What are you doing to do to keep from taking a wrong turn?
© Shawn Casemore 2013. All rights reserved.
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