My experience has shown me that most managers spend too much time in the operational ‘weeds’, focused on day to day urgent things. The result is that there is little or no time available to think about the important things – the things that will ensure your organization remains healthy for the long-term.
As managers, it is a good practice to ‘pop’ your head out of the weeds and have a look beyond the day to day. What is the overall health of your organization? Does your business strategy rest on differentiation? Are you making conscientious decisions about where resources are and are not focused? Can you visually render your business strategy on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper?
As a manager, it is important for you to objectively challenge all of your assumptions about your business strategy on a continual basis. To get started, ask yourself these questions…
- How stale is the value that you bring to market?
- Is your sales revenue declining or flat lined?
- Do you have difficulty explaining how your organization is different than your top three competitors?
If you are not comfortable with the answers, your organization could be showing symptoms of a faltering and ineffective business strategy. So how do you know if your business strategy is already failing?
- If you have an earnings issue, chances are you have a failing business strategy.
- If you have a liquidity issue, chances are you have a failing business strategy.
As with any unhealthy organism, the longer the situation goes unrecognized and untreated, the higher the risk the organism will never recover. With today’s rate and pace of change, what was a sound strategy yesterday could be obsolete by tomorrow.
Whether your current business strategy is faltering, failing (or still sound), it should not be ignored. Today’s firefighting solves today’s problems. Focusing on your business strategy will ensure tomorrow’s problems will not be catastrophic issues from which the organization can’t recover.
If you would like to talk more about how to address your tactical issues within the context of a winning business strategy, please send along an email. I would welcome the opportunity to share ideas and perspectives.
Jim Vatalaro, Senior Management Consultant