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40 Quick Strategy Tips!

I saw a tweet the other day that said, “What actions would I take if I were starting my social media accounts over.”

I’m in no danger of starting my social media accounts over, but I did like one of the tips to write up 40 one sentence tips on the top you talk about. Since I hit on strategy this gives me a lot of room to run.

But this morning, I’m going to share 40 strategy tips/ideas/questions to deal with uncertain times.

  1. In business, all situations are VUCA and always had been. VUCA is a military term that has a definitive opposite, but business doesn’t have that opposite.
  2. In dealing with change, the validity of every model needs to be questioned in the context of the current situation.
  3. As a strategist, you are always fighting your organization’s desire for predictability. The challenge is that no good strategy has any certainty because you are designing something new based on the current world, not the past.
  4. Strategy is a design effort focused on continuous reinvention.
  5. A good strategy can have its opposite also be a good strategy.
  6. The best strategies can often fit on one sheet of paper.
  7. Planning is not strategy, but planning is often necessary. Don’t confuse planning with strategy.
  8. Build your strategy around core competencies. And, try not to get sucked into the new, shiny object unless it makes sense for you. Not because “everyone” is doing it.
  9. Don’t double down on activity when your approach is what is broken.
  10. Understand that a lot of strategy requires you to get back to first principles.
  11. See strategy with two eyes: the analyst and the architect. The past and the future.
  12. Go to where the customer is to figure out what your strategy really needs to be.
  13. Use the T-Shaped view of Strategy: deep and wide. Go in both directions to find solutions.
  14. Strategy isn’t about perfection. It is about progress.
  15. Most planning efforts fail due to a false complexity made to feel the planner feel as if progress is being made.
  16. The essence of your choice is a balance between change and stability.
  17. Think ahead of time about what are the indicators that change is necessary.
  18. Prepare your organization to move ahead of time. If not, the world will pass you by.
  19. Be careful of the signs of dysfunctional thinking that show up in too much planning/SWOT analysis/recalibrations.
  20. Recognize there are no cookie cutter strategies. Your situation is unique. Approach it as such.
  21. Understand what success looks like. It helps frame your decision making.
  22. Do you have any idea what part of the market you will be competing in?
  23. Are you clear on why people should pick you over the competition?
  24. Do you really know who you are competing against?
  25. Are there trends that you should be focusing on now?
  26. Is there a material change in your market based on the changing world?
  27. Do you know the resources you’ll need to achieve success?
  28. What are you next actions? Are they time bound? Measurable?
  29. Is your knee-jerk reaction to a downturn or stumble to cut? Why?
  30. Don’t forget to continue to play the long-game, even in a downturn.
  31. Assume that your strategy is innocent of opportunity, not guilty of not being guaranteed. No new strategy can be guaranteed. (I know, I said something similar above. This is that important.)
  32. Remember it is entirely likely that you’ll have a corporate/business level strategy, a brand strategy, a marketing strategy, and individual unit strategies. This is why streamlining and simplifying your thinking is going to help a lot.
  33. Strategy is a creative activity.
  34. Strategy isn’t an event, but an ongoing process.
  35. Strategy isn’t something just done by the strategists. It is best when done by people at all levels of the organization.
  36. Don’t get trapped by frameworks and models that are broken or not working.
  37. Your strategy should increase your likelihood of success.
  38. Good strategies help remove some of the luck in determining whether or not you are successful or not.
  39. Your best decision may be to cut things out. So don’t just look at addition, but subtraction.
  40. Realize that your strategy shouldn’t be a straight jacket. The environment you are operating in will change and this may mean you have to change. Your destination might remain the same, but your actions will different. As long as you are being smart about your choices in this process don’t be afraid to alter a plan that is unlikely to work. Being a good strategist requires that.

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