In the last two weeks I’ve posted a three-part series on I’ve posted a series on setting and executing business strategy on the Amex OPEN forum in the last two weeks. I’m happy to see the first of these showing up on top of the trending list there. Here’s a summary:
Start with Strategy
The post is How a Simple Story can Improve Your Business. Here’s the main idea:
It’s simple. Just imagine the story of somebody who has a problem or wants something, finds your business and buys from you. Pretend for a moment that you’re writing a story or talking to a friend about your company. Don’t sweat writing or editing, just make it a simple story you can tell. Go ahead, be creative and let go.
Set Specific Goals and Metrics
The second post in the series is Use Specific Goals to Get Your Business Ahead.
To develop your own useful milestones for your business strategy, think of how an artist squints to see the features of a landscape, and (metaphorically) squint as you look at where you want your business to go. Look for points along the way, moving in the right direction, that you can fix on.
Then Steer. Manage. Stay on Course.
The third post is Steer Your Business on a Steady Course.
The idea of steering applies to real business strategy management in the need for frequent small corrections. It’s hard to make daily details match the big strategy. Even with strategy in place, and milestones and metrics laid out, it still takes regular review and revisions to make sure the focus and priorities in the strategy flow down into the daily details.
To my mind, strategy without execution is useless; and good business planning is nine parts execution for every one part strategy. And execution means setting the goals and then managing them, day by day.