On Strategy: Where is it?

Every business leader and entrepreneur think they have a well thought of strategy. They think they have it all chalked out. They can talk about it all the time and recall it at any moment. But when you ask them to Chess-kingmake a presentation to an audience formally – most falter! Not because they don’t know their business, but because they have not written it down. When a business is small, one can keep all of these things in the head. But as the business grows, the entrepreneur / leader must understand the importance of having a written strategy document.

What must a strategy document contain? In MHO a strategy document must contain:

  • Purpose of the Firm
  • Values (what we will and won’t do)
  • Choices (Products/Services/Markets/ etc)
  • 12 month Goals
  • 36 month Goals
  • The 12 month plan

Most small business owners in their attempt to grow, end up trying to be more active than before. They get aggressive and continue their early habits of enterprise growth. They do now what they have been doing all the while, with greater vigour. But this may not really help, if where they want to reach is another point in the growth chart.

As the organization grow to become more than just the owner and his intentions – written documents help everyone associated (including the owner) understand their changing roles, contribution and context. A written document provides great clarity on the ‘What’ and thereof on the ‘How’ of the journey. This enables decisions that are effective, prioritization that is consistent and purpose that is common.

A formal presentation to the team energizes the team, aligns them and indicates to them what is expected of them. This sets the tone for further meaningful action from each and every individual of the team. As a start, this integrates best the intent with the expected action.  Most of the time during my review sessions on strategy with CEOs of emerging companies, I enable and catalyze this exercise. I work with the CEO in getting his team charged up and get actions off the ground. If the leader does not do this – no amount of motivation programs can help, especially at the senior levels.  If you haven’t done it yet – do it now! Call me if you need help!!


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