Developing an Executable Strategy to Realize your Vision
Updated: Jun 18, 2019
"Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it's about deliberately choosing to be different." — Michael Porter
Your business vision is just a dream until you figure out the specific steps you need to take to make your vision a reality. Your starting point is today – whatever you have – and deciding what steps you need to take to get on the path to realizing your vision. This will force you to make choices, some trade-offs and decide exactly how you will be different from your competition.
Without a strategy you will have no...
objective way to make decisions on where to invest your time, energy or capital
deliberate path to be different in your market
financial model to measure whether you are on track or not
means to ensure your team is prioritizing its efforts correctly
understanding of the critical numbers you must achieve to ensure your success
With a strategy you will . . .
know what strengths to leverage and what weaknesses you need to overcome
have a specific market, set of offerings and positioning statements to be deliberately different from you competition
be operating to a business model that will guide your pricing, spending and investments
ensure your team knows the current priorities so everyone is working towards shared objectives
track your quarterly results against the critical objectives and metrics key to your business success
Your business vision is the foundation upon which to build an executable strategy. An executable strategy summarizes your current business reality, market strategy, key initiatives for this year, where you want to be in 3 years, and the critical metrics you need to track and achieve to make your vision a reality.
When we do this work for our clients we guide them through these six steps:
Start-Stop-Keep: Take a quick pulse of your team; ask them what they think the company should START doing, STOP doing and KEEP doing.
SWOT: Identify your business’ top 3 Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This is a standard strategic tool that systematically identifies your company’s current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These are foundational beliefs held by you, and if they are included in the process, your team.
Market Strategy: Decide where your growth will come from to achieve your vision. What combination of customers and offerings will you need to reach your goals? The results of this exercise are then used to create a Financial Model for your ideal envisioned business.
Financial Modeling: Build a financial model for your ideal business to ensure profitability and financial strength. You will take the growth strategy from step 3 and build a spreadsheet model that helps you assess your future profitability and manage your decisions to ensure ongoing financial strength as you pursue your vision.
Balanced Scorecard: Translate your strategy into operational objectives using a balanced scorecard approach. A balanced scorecard is a means to link a company’s current actions to its long-term goals. Too many businesses are managed simply by financial metrics. In order for you to ensure your company is executing on its strategy, it must translate its strategic intent into operational objectives from three other perspectives: customer, internal processes and organizational capabilities.
Single Page Strategy: Pull it all together into an easy to read and reference single page strategy. Simply assemble all the elements from your vision and those developed in the previous five steps onto a single sheet of paper.
To accomplish this activity on your own, you will need a complete set of strategic tools; you can find examples online, but a good set can be found in Chapter 8 of Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. Go get yourself a copy and get started today developing your executable strategy to realize your vision.