Management teams sometimes find it difficult to settle on a strategy. The truth is that you have to ask yourself a series of questions before you can settle on an agreed way forward; you won’t generally find the answer in one leap.
Here are 10 questions I work through with my clients. The first six questions are focused on where the business is now and where it is heading, while questions 7-10 establish the future direction and ambition of your organisation.
- What business are we really in? [Hint: Dyson realised it was in the ‘air moving’ business, not the vacuum cleaner business]
- Where and how do we currently make (or lose) money, and what are the trends?
- What do we do much better (or worse) than our competitors, and what are the trends?
- What do our customers – and non-customers – see as our major strengths and weaknesses, and what are the trends?
- How attractive are our markets, and what are the trends?
- How do we see our markets developing and changing over the next 3-5 years?
- What #1 over-arching goal would engage and drive the business forward over the next few years?
- What scope of business should we be developing – in terms of our target customers, the products and services we offer them, the channels we reach them through and our geographical reach?
- What do we wish to be famous for as a business, and what sources of competitive advantage do we need to make that a reality?
- What small number of objectives (say 3-5) should we focus on as a business to hit our #1 goal, deliver our agreed business scope and maximise our competitive advantages?
Which of these 10 questions do you currently have compelling answers for? And which should you work on to establish genuine strategic clarity for your business?
© Stuart Cross 2017. All rights reserved.