Creating a great strategy is an area that ultimately will lead to business success or failure. The recent spate of business failures on the high street was driven by poor business strategies in response to changing consumer behaviour. Business strategy creation and implementation takes place on a daily basis within all organisations. Leaders need to understand exactly how the various business strategies created and implemented are working in accordance to the overall strategic business plan. Achieving sustained business growth relies on the ability of a company to formulate and implement good business strategies. Below I have highlighted five important areas to consider when creating and implementing business strategies:
1. Do senior management truly understand the organisation’s strategic vision?
Leadership must guide the organisation forward in a carefully crafted and determined manner. A great way to determine if the key managers are onboard with the strategic vision of the organisation is to simply ask each of them to articulate the vision. The strategic vision of the organisation sets the tone for goals and subsequent actions, without alignment you will not progress very far.
2. Are key managers empowered to plot and execute strategy within their own area of responsibility – business units, departments, or functional areas?
Strategic business planning done correctly allows for key leaders in the various areas of a business to set goals and objective in alignment with the organisational vision. Leadership is essential at every level of the organisation. Sustained business growth is only possible when the entire organisation is working in harmony with the strategic vision. Each part of the organisation has a role to play in achieving business growth. The leaders within those parts of the business must have the power and ability to create strategies that bring about business growth.
3. Do leaders, as well as individual contributors understand how their competitive strategies create value and growth for the organisation?
Business strategies must have a purpose to them. Strategies should not be created for personal or meaningless reasons. Business growth and the fulfillment of the overall strategic vision of the organisation is the only reason to create a business strategy. Strategic business planning is done to create sustainable business growth.
4. Are you conducting periodic reviews of the strategy within your own area of responsibility?
Business strategies must be measured and reviewed on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. A business strategy without proper measurements in place is a poor strategy by definition.
5. What issues will shape your future and should be acted upon?
Business growth and business strategy must be created with the future in mind. What has worked well in the past will not always be successful in the future. Forward thinking leadership is intelligent leadership.