Observing big and small businesses over the years it has often been difficult to see the big picture and how specific organizations were managed to support their vision. Drawing on text book strategic planning constructs while important still left me with a fragmented view. How do you pull everything together to march towards measurable success. While there are many methods which are profitably deployed in a wide range of industries I will share just one of several that I have used along with my colleagues. Most entrepreneurs thus businesses start by identifying a need in the market beginning with building a better proverbial mouse trap. While the past decade is a testament to innovation and its impact on our lives you still must be careful not to fall in love with your product at the expense of building a profitable company. This starts with framing markets, demand and competitive intensity. The challenge of building an enterprise that will evolve and sustain itself beyond the initial founders often centers on the cult of a specific leader’s personality versus institutional personality and values.
Building and growing an organization is largely about pointing a ship in the right direction and empowering the crew to make course corrections to stay on plan. Setting a Vision of what you want to be when you grow up, a Mission of how to get there and creating a Culture which defines how you get things done are critical elements in any planning process. These few elements will help you define What You Want To Be as an organization. Adding competitive dynamics to your planning considerations will help define among other things what your are up against let alone the full potential of your business. In today’s world the consumer is inundated with stimulus. While many years ago you may have been able to grab attention with long infomercials, 120 then 60 then 30 second TV spots now you may have but a few seconds to convey a message. Helping the consumer to make a fast or even impulse decision is a critical success factor. This may require creative message conveyance, frictionless payment or just reducing any or all purchase hassle. Moreover, all of this assumes a product’s evolution to sustain demand.
Bringing a bit of linkage across elements of strategic planning is helpful. If nothing else it is shorthand for what you want to accomplish which may clarify thinking and adoption throughout your organization. While we focus on the attention span of consumers and strategies to reach and hold their attention similar requires are needed for internal business stakeholders. Employees of companies have the same time pressures as customers. Being able to convey the enormity of a firm’s plan to the masses needed to implemented is a task unto itself. The Strategy Framework may help you synthesize key attributes into digestible bites thus facilitate it’s implementation.