Making Your Company More Strategic (and less Tactical) Part Two

In last week’s blog post, we discussed the difference between strategy and tactics. This week, we dive deeper, discussing ways in which you can put your tactics and strategic planning to work for you.

The following chart helps differentiate the two concepts even further:

Opportunities, threats, and changes in the marketplace happen faster and with less predictability than they used to. They’re also becoming increasingly interconnected and interrelated in ways we’ve never had to deal with before. The result is a significantly more volatile and uncertain world – where disruptive change can occur on a moment’s notice, and where incremental change may no longer be enough to survive.

To lead your organization to even greater success in 2011, make sure you have these strategies in mind:

1. Get clear on success.

What does success look like for your company?  Ask yourself these questions:

  • When we succeed, what three or four key strategic objectives will we have accomplished?
  • How will we define our workplace culture in terms of attitudes, beliefs, and values?
  • What skills, knowledge and abilities will be the cornerstones of our company?
  • What tools, systems and technologies will we need?
  • What products will we have in the market? What products in development?
  • Who are our customers? How many will we have? Who are the top 100 customers we’d like to have?
  • Who are our biggest competitors? What type of companies will we compete against?
  • What will be our greatest competitive advantage? Our biggest threat?
  • What will our brand represent?

Once you know what success looks like, communicate it often to your employees, board and others so that you never lose sight of your goals.

2.  Get good at strategic thinking.

Today’s business environment demands a workforce that can move fast with focus and flexibility. If you can’t respond quickly to changing market conditions and unforeseen events, you’ll get left behind by faster, more strategically agile competitors.

What is the differentiated value you provide to your customers?  Find out and leverage that.

Teach your people to anticipate opportunities and threats. Develop their creative problem solving skills, and help them understand how their decisions and actions impact the business today and in the future.

Make sure your company can make it through unexpected events.  Analyze the future by thinking about all the problems that could arise, and then, figure out how you can overcome those challenges.  Make sure you can get back up and going quickly if you ever get knocked down.

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