A Focused Strategy is a Good Strategy

By Bruce Wade

A good business strategy must include all aspects of your business ecosystem that coherently operate together as one towards a common goal.
This statement sounds like it comes straight from an academic book on planning. Too often academic statements are just that, academic, and not very practical or applicable in the real world.
But, before we bash the professors too much, let’s unpack this and see how it could apply to your business:
Any strategy that has been forged at some senior management indaba needs to be inclusive of the entire business or at least be able to be seen and aligned by every department and person that it affects. A good strategy is a clear and simple one that motivates both movement and direction.
When a strategy is seen as too vague or not inclusive, it promotes breakaway goals and actions resulting in disparity and chaos at the fringes of the business. These actions are accompanied by the normal eye-rolling and mutterings of staff who are yet again exposed to a new ‘thing’ from the executives that have very little bearing on the real world at the coalface of the business.
So, what can we do to bring a coherent and collaborative approach to strategy and action in the business? Here are 3 simple rules to apply when developing your next strategy:
1. Ensure that you have all the information you need from all levels and departments of the business before setting out on a strategy session.
2. Set a strategy that is horizon-focused and inclusive for the entire business.
3. Communicate, validate, and implement the strategy down to the lowest levels of the business to ensure total buy-in and compliance.
Using tools such as OKRs is the perfect way to ensure all the above, giving the business a simple and easily managed approach to developing and implementing a wholistic approach to strategy implementation and application.