29 Nov 2017
5 Secrets To Building A Successful Strategy
Success rarely happens by accident.
There is something romantic in the idea that success is simply a question of talent and good fortune. The reality is a bit less glamorous. Success takes hard work. And to make sure you’re working hard at the right things, you need a plan.
We consulted several of our senior executives for insight. Here are the five key elements of a successful strategy, according to them. Put these to use in your planning for 2018 and then reap the rewards all year long!
You need to have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish. That means defining your mission and having a clear sense of your strengths and weaknesses. This should help you identify your competitive advantages and leverage them effectively. That’s the “big picture”. With that in place, the question is how are you going to get from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow?
Working backwards, you should be able to define each of the steps you need to take to succeed. These shorter-term targets need to be consistent with your plan. And you need to be able to measure them to track your progress throughout the year.
What good is having a plan on January 1st if you’ve already lost sight of it by January 15th? To avoid that scenario, build accountability into your strategic plan. That way you hold yourself responsible on a regular basis for what you achieve.
The best way to stay accountable is to establish clear metrics. These are usually referred to as key performance indicators (KPIs). As you define the KPIs remember to be realistic. The ideal strategic plan is ambitious and challenging. But it is also realistic, achievable and has traceability. For every investment you consider making, you should be able to trace how it contributes to accomplishing your goals.
Even the best laid plans aren’t executed in a vacuum. There are always unexpected events or circumstances that can occur and change everything. So just like the clients you advise, you need to prepare yourself to handle whatever life throws your way.
That means leaving room in your plan for the flexibility to pivot when the market changes. Keep in mind that these changes can be opportunities to grow your business. People who can spot the opportunity in every challenge often have the most success.
Communication and Collaboration
When you work with a team, open lines of dialogue and effective teamwork are essential to success. It’s critical to ensure that colleagues and business partners understand the plan. They also need to understand their role in making it a reality.
You should also create a feedback loop. This allows stakeholders to share their views on strategic issues during execution. Their feedback helps you learn, adapt and evolve so that you strengthen your business day by day.
This is where you go from planning to action. Your ability to act according to the strategic plan you’ve built is what determines your success. An important aspect of this phase is making sure that your team and your tools are aligned with your goals.
The execution can only be successful if everyone is committed to performing at their best. With a strong strategic plan and a team that delivers, success is a sure bet.