1 – If you have a great strategy you will have better business results
Untrue. Having a “great strategy” for your business has no bearing on whether or not you will have success. In fact the business landscape is littered with the wreckage of failed businesses that had some of the best strategies ever developed. A great strategy for one Business may not be a great strategy for another business – it needs to fit the needs, goals and mission of the Business.
2 – Having a perfect plan will guarantee perfect results
To start with, there is no such thing as perfect. So why bother trying for it. Our experience has been that a strategic plan only needs to be good enough, then implemented like crazy. The evidence is that in the pursuit of the perfect plan companies often miss the opportunity in the marketplace. It is true though, that an “imperfect” plan is better than no plan at all.
3 – Strategic success is about hard work
We would agree with more of a focused, collaborative effort than pure hard work. Hard work for the sake of it will guarantee nothing if it is effort in the wrong direction. Even if your strategic plan is only written on the back of an envelope, if you get everyone to buy into it, it can be successful. There is no point in everyone being “Busy fools” and “working hard” with no direction or guidance.
4 – Culture eats strategy all day!
Not so. It is our belief that culture and strategy are intertwined and to a larger degree are interdependent. Strategy on its own will not build a culture, however culture can put together a very credible and effective strategy that can be successful. Having a strong culture within the company and the team lends itself very well for implementation of the strategy.
5 – “Our Strategy is Cost Reduction”
Not really the greatest of strategic plans, “we plan to cut costs”. Yes, costs should be under control but in every case where we have come across continuous, relentless cost reduction in the absence of value creation, the business has failed to significantly grow. So it is for that reason that we would be wary of such a strategic vision.
6 – “We’re doing fine, we don’t need a strategy”
Every business needs some form of a strategy. To not have one will ensure that over time your business will become less relevant to your marketplace. It is very important that every business has some form of a strategic plan. This plan needs to include, Targets (short and medium term), how to reach those targets, how everyone plays a part in reaching them (and make then accountable once you get buy-in). In these unpredictable time with Covid-19 the Strategy may be to surive but you still need a plan for that and also a longer term plan to start to grow the business again.
7 – Only let the senior team know what the strategic plan is
Big mistake. In order to get all team members pulling in the right direction it is essential that all employees are aware of the strategic plan, what it’s about and most of all how they fit into it. All employees can provide input into that plan (not all of their ideas/ input needs to be implemented), but if they feel a part if it, it is more likely to succeed. Your staff are the people on the ground, at the coal face, talking to customers (either Sales people, Warehouse staff, Customer Service, Accounts – utilise their knowledge and feedback).
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