|May 2, 2022
‘Never mistake activity for achievement’ – John Wooden.
What is it that separates high performing firms from their peers?
What do they do differently to achieve superior growth?
The answer is simply this: they have an effective strategy.
Strategy is business goal setting
It’s amazing, but very few businesses have a strategic plan.
They usually have a budget.
They often have sales projections.
They sometimes have operational plans.
They also have hopes and dreams.
But what they don’t have is the ability to crystallise their vision of the future and decide how they will get from where they are to where they want to be.
Developing an effective strategy is about asking and answering the right questions
Here are 5 crucial questions for formulating the perfect strategy:
Question 1. Where are we now?
Assess your current reality:
Your client segments
Your ‘A’ clients (the top 5%)
Your ‘B’ clients (the middle 15%)
Your ‘C’ clients (the bottom 80%)
Your financial results
Your average revenue per client.
Question 2. How did we get to where we are today?
Review your history of how you reached the place you are now:
The critical steps you took
What you did right
What went wrong
Lessons you have learned
Major significant events
Question 3. Where do we want to be?
Visualise what you want in the future:
What do you want your business to look like in the future?
Where do you want to be one year from now?
What about in three to five years from now?
Define your ideal future state based on where you are today.
Question 4. How are we going to get there?
Think about how you will get from where you are today to where you want to be in the future. Consider:
The people you have
The resources available
The systems you use
The markets you serve.
Question 5. What do we need?
Determine exactly how you might achieve your strategic objectives in the future. Consider:
Additional skills to develop
Resources you need
Systems to implement
Conduct capability audits in the areas of sales, management, leadership, financial management, and services, to identify any gaps between what you have today and what you need in the future.
Create a simple checklist of the things you must do and the steps that you must take.
Focus on the basics
John Wooden is considered one of the greatest basketball coaches in history. During the 1960s and 1970s, he coached the UCLA Bruins to 10 NCAA championship wins in 12 years.
Wooden translated his pyramid of success into a detailed recipe – right down to the very basic details.
The first practice of every year started the same with the same instructions. He began with these remarks:
‘We will begin by learning how to tie our shoes. First, you put your socks slowly with care over your toes. Now move your socks up here… and here… and smooth out the wrinkles. Then lace up your shoes from the bottom carefully, slowly, getting each pass nice and tight’.
From John Wooden’s point of view, these were the basics. Players certainly don’t want to get a blister, or worse, have their shoes come untied in a big game. This never happened with his players.
He prepared them for the little things, to allow them to focus on the big things.
He got results.
Start your planning every year by asking, and answering, the right questions.
Each year, take cares of the small stuff, and allow everyone on your team to experience growth results.
Forget latest the fads. Just focus on the basics.