It would be naïve of us to only discuss strategy in terms of growth because it is assumed that growth is always about more revenue and profit or becoming bigger.
But the reality for many is that they want to use strategy for growth in other areas including:
- Reducing workload
- Reducing stress
- Increasing impact
- Reducing impact
- Improve operations
- Keep focused
Whether you are talking in terms of you as a person, a leader or a business owner knowing where to put your energy at any given time can be a real challenge, especially when things happen that you can’t plan for.
The other thing we have learned over the years is how many people struggle with long-term strategy or goals, which may not be a bad thing.
I have lost count of how many times I have been asked about my exit strategy, my BHAG, and my 3 and 5-year goals, often from some outdated methodology that we follow blindly. But if we look for a little reality maybe we should be looking a little closer to come, to something we can get our heads around.
We are continually distracted and ultimately spend little time being present in our lives. Trying to live bigger and better lives that are off in the distant future, but we spend so much time off in the distance, that we lose sight of what we are and should be doing right now, in the present.
Even more important are the actions we are taking right now aligned with what we want our future to look like?
It is so much easier to bellyache about what we don’t have, and how much work we need to do to get ‘there’, we lose sight of what we can do right now to take one step closer.
I’m not a fan of clichés, but the reality is that all of our time is borrowed, and it will end, so why wouldn’t we only focus on the things that matter and ultimately move us, in both our personal and business lives?
Time is the only commodity that we choose to trade at a loss.
The key essence of any strategy whether it be short or long, simple or complex is the action you take. Simple.
So why don’t we get back to basics and focus in short bursts to create momentum in our business strategies?
It’s fairly straightforward – ego. So much of the current thinking around strategy is about the gesturing of intelligence and how complicated you can make something to ‘look’ smart, but the appalling reality is that serves no one.
All great strategy is predicated on its focus, simplicity, and the actions taken to achieve the outcome by those involved.
It’s the small steps every day that you take to move forward. Those small wins create momentum and confidence in you and those around you so that tomorrow can do 1% more and so forth.
One recent weekend my wife shared with me that she was looking for a small project with a big impact on our property and she was feeling a little tired. This got me thinking, why do not focus on small but valuable projects that when you step back you think wow, who would have guessed?
Think a snowball to a snowman, compounding interest on a mortgage (Not so fun!), or cutting a messy lawn to leave it tidy and appealing. You see, these are all small things that make a huge difference.
But the strategy can leave us standing in a forest of opportunity wondering which tree to chop next, too many options, and too many decisions, all of which end in little or more likely no action.
Taking this all into consideration we have developed a 30-Day Strategic planning tool that can help you get off the start line, take away the unknown and fear and help you get momentum.
Imagine if you did one small thing every day for 30 days and at the end of that period you have arrived at a meaningful and important outcome that may change your life or business for the better.
While there is no magic apart from action, there are a few rules:
- Decide on an outcome that is important to you/your business
- Understand what actions it will take to get there
- Identify the help you will need
- Make a plan that you can track every single day.
No overwhelm, no complexity, no jargon.
By taking on the next 30 days, you can see and feel that time with relative ease, which creates confidence from the start. Applying the same method for 3 or 5 years might be more of a stretch.
Once you have those first 30 days under your belt, then you can start developing tougher objectives, something that pushes you that little further, while reducing the distractions.