In unpacking the most suitable strategy methods for my clients, I make sure to have them thoroughly understand this approach and how to apply it to their thinking in order to achieve some kind of business objective in the next 12 months.
This strategic approach is split into 8 layers that provide insight and analysis into the goals and measurements required to get some solid work done within a particular window period.
Let’s take a strong, hard look at how exactly it works and in what ways it will help your business shine.
The Situation, The Victory Conditions And The Goals
When looking at this multi-layered approach, there are first a list of questions that need to be asked and key information that needs some sort of identification.
Taking a look at the very top of the approach, you’re welcomed by the need to identify the current situation you’re facing in your business:
This is done by taking a look at some important factors like understanding your risk analysis using all of the right tools; where you sit financially from a cash-flow and liability perspective; understanding what the market looks like in terms of risks and trends; ensuring that you have the right product set for the market at this particular time and where you are in terms of producing your product; and finally, what the current state of your suppliers and staff look like.
Begin with confronting and truly understanding the current situation you’re in and answer all of those particular factors that apply.
The next piece to look at is your shareholder’s victory conditions:
Identify and think clearly about what the shareholder wants to achieve long-term (around 3-5, or 5-7 years); then mid-term (the next 12 months); and begin to unpack what winning and success looks like from a shareholder’s perspective in the next year of engaging in this strategy. When identifying what’s needed at this stage, you look at what winning looks like and by a set deadline, ensuring that you have all the necessary goals that need to be achieved at a particular time.
The third fundamental piece of information that you need to provide before moving on would be the actual business goals:
In finding the best way to go about this, make sure to break it down into a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal); what would be the single measurement to confirm that you’ve won or succeeded in the next 12 months? Would it be winning a certain account, getting x amount of people or clients, achieving x amount of turnover – it needs to be something that’s measurable.
Take it further and find your SMART goals (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Time-based) and then set those objectives based on each business vertical, such as sales, marketing, operations, HR, finance, the product and the rest of the departments in your business.
After identifying your situation, victory conditions and goals – you can now decide what the initiatives are that you need in order to achieve these objectives.
Initiatives, Thrusts And Impact vs Effort
Based on the situation that you’ve analysed, the victory conditions that you’ve identified and the goals that have been set; it’s time to decide on the key strategic initiatives that will be run over the course of a year.
This takes your 12-month goal or objective and has them broken down into four key strategic initiatives that become a quarterly break-down of the year (3 months per initiative). Each of those quarterly initiatives can be divided further into thrusts for each quarter, which refer to the particular things that need to happen in each quarter to get closer to achieving the final year-end goal.
If you manage to complete all four initiatives, you’ll complete your goals.
It’s important to list what you’ll be doing in each thrust (usually 2-3 thrusts per initiative) and achieve them to move on to your next 3-month initiative. However, this can become a little bit difficult to manage all of these things, while running the business on a day-to-day basis.
So, I suggest putting those thrusts into an impact vs effort quadrant, where you can determine whether each thrust is either: low effort and high-impact; low effort and low-impact; low-impact and high effort; or high-impact and high effort.
You’re looking to find the low effort, but high-impact work and pay attention to that, leaving the high effort, but low-impact work to do last.
We want results that we get the most amount of impact from, while doing minimal effort. This has you focus on that first, then on high-impact, but high-effort work; thirdly low-impact, but low effort; and lastly, work that is high effort, but low-impact.
It becomes easier when you can decide which of those thrusts are more important to work on now and which ones can be focused on or left for later in the year.
Tactics, Resources, Sprints, Then Control and Measure
Once you’ve established and categorised the thrusts into appropriate positions and which of them will take priority, you can shift your focus toward deciding which tactics, resources and weekly measurements are needed to get those thrusts done.
There may be a need for particulars to get the jobs done, like: people, money, tools and applications, time allocation, smarter marketing – paying attention to the tactics necessary for completing the thrusts in the most effective way.
After identifying those required tactics and particulars, I suggest breaking it down into weekly sprints; figuring out what you’re going to be doing every week (sometimes bi-weekly) to try and push the business forward to achieve the thrust. Then at the end of each quarter, to re-evaluate those initiatives and take another look at those thrusts.
And last, but not least, as you’ll find in every strategy is the control measurement phase:
Identifying when you start doing these weekly sprints, how well the implementation of these actions are working and what other actions need to be taken to achieve the desired results. Paying attention to the what, how, who and when; how do you know it’s actually working?
You don’t want to get ahead three months, look back and say, “that was a waste”. So, it is important to step away from it on a monthly basis and look carefully at what’s been done over the past four weeks and ask yourself if you’re closer to achieving the thrusts and whether or not you need to speed things up, slow things down, realign, or just cancel.
Like with every strategy, you can (and should) always adapt, accordingly.
There you have it!
An 8-layered approach to a solid strategy that will have you achieving your goals like Christiano Ronaldo.
Speaking of goals: you should include me in one of them. Get yourself a powerful and kick-ass business coach that will take your business all the way to the top.
We can hang-out sometime, have a chat, a meeting, a sit-down and discuss where you see your business going in the next couple of years.
It’s so easy to reach me (almost too easy):
+2783 253 3339