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10 Principles to Optimize Your Business Results: Principle #3 – The Importance of Strategy

04 Dec

The third principle in our “10 Principles” series takes us from dreaming to planning. If Vision represents the “What” of your design for a successful business, Strategy provides the “How.”

In my post on Principle #2 (Vision), I used the example of the nation’s goal for sending a man to the moon and back as a tremendous challenge that excited and inspired us to do what seemed impossible. But without the strategies in place to actually make it happen, it would have remained nothing more than an exciting piece of pie in the sky. Spaceships had to be designed, and computers to run the spaceships, and spacesuits to protect the astronauts inside the spaceships. The complex designs then had to be built on precise schedules with detailed budgets. NASA also had to find solutions for every possible contingency in this never-before-attempted voyage.

A Strategy Formulation Process or a business works much the same way. As a CEO, you must first gather a wealth of information to inform your strategy – market data, customer behaviors and concerns, economic trends, et cetera – before you can see where your company currently stands the distance toward its goal. Once you clearly see the destination you can lay the stepping-stones and then build a methodology to bridge each step. And just as the NASA engineers developed contingency plans, you can build flexibility into your strategy, enabling you to anticipate and react to changes.

Just as an engineering blueprint allows designers and manufacturers to all see the big picture, a carefully crafted business strategy gives your team members a birds’-eye view of the entire success equation.

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