Spring is the time to clean out, declutter and dust off things that have accumulated from winter. This can be anything from a 10 pound weight gain due to inactivity on cold winter days to getting rid of roller blades you haven’t used in five years.
What does this have to do with strategy?
They are both about making FORCED CHOICES and then exercising DISCIPLINE and CONSISTENCY in executing on those choices. If you haven’t used those roller blades in five years, are you really going to? Be honest. Are they the most on-target vehicle for losing weight. If not, they are taking up space for something else that could actually be used to get results.
I find that many of us talk about business strategy but when it comes down to the daily, weekly or monthly “to do” list, we still want to do it all. So it may mean you can’t implement that new computer system this year if you are really going to execute your strategy to conserve capital in a down economy by reducing your operations budget. It’s about tradeoffs and managing yourself and your teams to the incessant drumbeat of what is in scope or out of scope – today or this quarter – but maybe not next year. It’s about holding your collective feet to the fire on what you and your team said is important – critical – to your survival or growth.
A colleague coined a new term that I find so appropriate when doing spring cleaning on strategy – “focustrate” – concentrate and focus on what your strategy is. Everything else gets thrown out or put on the back burner and revisited during your strategy review – really.
The end of the first quarter is a great time to review your strategy in light of the changing economic landscape. A key question to keep in mind: Is this action going to get us to where we need to be in our designated timeframe? If not, dump or defer. Happy decluttering!
Copyright 2009 Sage Leadership Strategies, LLC www.sagelead.com