The recent global events have been incomprehensible.
The pace of change has been unbelievable.
The results of COVID-19 are devastating.
The selflessness of a few can only be described as humbling.
The adaptability of humankind is incredible.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has dominated every media channel, every thought, every decision and every conversation.
More than ever before it has proved how important strategy, strategic thinking, flexibility and agile thinking is in business. As an advisor in these times I spent the first three weeks on web calls, solidly, with my team and with my clients.
I had two very different types of conversation:
The hardest, most stressful conversations were based on the subject matter ‘What can I do and how can you help me’.
The positive, actionable and productive conversations were based on ‘Business continuity, disaster recovery and 90-day strategy’.
What was the main difference between the two types of businesses I was supporting in that first month?
The ones who had no idea what to do, had no strategy. They hadn’t even thought about a strategy, they had never had a strategy and they didn’t know how to implement one.
The other ones had a strategy, had always had a strategy and revisited that strategy on a regular basis.
Was that strategy any good at the moment? No, absolutely not, everything changed overnight, very few businesses could have planned for that unless they are bigger corporates and have a strategic department. Some businesses had planned for working from home, none had planned for a complete shutdown of society.
But the business owners understand strategy, are strategic thinkers and, instead of panicking, they sat down, and they re-wrote that strategy to accommodate the next 90 days and how their business would survive that period.
So if the strategy was no longer valid, why is it so important?
Well, firstly you should always have a strategy – you have to know where you are going in order to get there, and you have to plan how you are going to get there in order to get there in the most efficient and effective way.
It is an analogy you may have heard me use before, but can you imagine just getting in your car and driving around with no idea where you are going? Or, perhaps even worse, knowing where you have to get to but having no idea what the route you need to take is!
Strategy gives you the roadmap that you need to reach your ultimate destination, strategic planning helps you identify the destination and, most importantly, enables you to map the route that you will need to take to reach your destination on time, with everything you need.
However, you will never, ever manage to cover off every single eventuality that may happen to your business along the way. Some things simply cannot be planned for.
So, you need to be flexible and agile and adaptable – and one of the best ways to do this is to check in with your strategy regularly. Know it inside out and upside down, own it fully and you will see immediately where that strategy no longer holds up and needs to be changed, or where you are going off-piste and need to pull yourself back.
For a series of three webinars, I will take you through my own process for strategic planning, and help you work through some of your own challenges or projects, ultimately drawing up your own strategic plan.
Starting on 20th May and running over three weeks, I will be hosting three live webinars to help you create a process for holding your own strategy workshop and a process to help you create your strategy.
You will be invited to tackle a particular challenge of your choice that you are facing, or define a decision that you need to make with guidance from myself and the help of a work book which you will be given in three stages in order to facilitate your strategic plan.
You can be actively engaged in conversation and we can work through problems together, or you can quietly work through your own strategy without feeling the need to share with the rest of the group. It will be entirely up to you.