In working with my clients, one of the most continuos challenges that organizations face is with the establishment and consistent delivery of your organization’s strategy.
The challenging of establishing and delivering consistently on strategy is one of business’s longest running challenges. The list of reasons why is as long and varied as the types of businesses that have been built over the years.
Here are a few reasons that your strategy can become misdirected:
1. Issue Identification and Assessment: A lot of time we find ourselves setting our strategies based on ourselves, but in too many ways we get tripped up because we aren’t looking at the issues of our clients and prospects and assessing them in terms of value.
2. Role of Strategy: In a lot of organizations, the role of the organization’s strategy is never fully elucidated or aligned. This means that your strategy never plays a strong enough role in the direction of your organization.
3. Growth: One challenge to your strategy will find its way because of growth, either too much or too little. Both can be striking in their ability to destroy your strategy.
4. Change: Change is another thing: positive and negative. Both present different challenges to your strategy.
5. Business purpose: This plays into the first challenge, but you are looking at it from your POV. If you don’t identify the value you provide and want to provide, your strategy will struggle.
6. Real business value: Too often we find ourselves staring down a list of tasks and activities that our team does. None of these illustrate unique value. If you don’t spend some time defining and illustrating your real business value, your strategy will go straight to the dead end.
7. Maintaining differentiation: The core of your business is in how you add a different value than anyone else. But over time, you can find your differentiation evolving and changing, but not always in the best way. So it is important that you always keep an eye on differentiating your business.
8. Short term vs. Long term: I’m not sure how long this has been a challenge, but as long as I have been a respectable business person, organization’s have been struggling with the pull of short term needs and long term strategy. This is one that can be extremely difficult to balance, but if you allow your organization to be driven by too much short term decision making, you can find yourself severely limited.
9. Lack of momentum: One big challenge that you will face is that your strategy will not gain traction as quickly as possible. This can lead to the idea that your strategy isn’t the correct one and will often make organizations take off in a new direction.
10. Failure to create alignment: Alignment is a huge issue that I face over and over and one that I have talked about extensively over the years. If you aren’t careful, a lack of alignment will have all of the important aspects of your business acting in a manner that is pulling in many different directions. So focus on alignment, all the time.
I will be looking into each of these factors in more depth in the coming weeks, but let me know what you think in the comments.