5 Dec 2020, 10:00 — 6 min read
The Founder and CEO of an early stage company that has just closed a solid seed round tells me that what has benefited his business most in the past, and allowed him to pivot towards a promising future, can be expressed in one word: Focus.
The CEO of a late-stage startup who spent over 100 days closing a recent round with an important new investor tells me how he was thoroughly “beaten up” during diligence because of what was perceived to be a lack of clarity in the company’s market positioning. This added weeks of delay to the process, diverting resources away from sales and daily operations.
The Cofounder and CEO of a B2B content startup tells me that he and his team are doing too many things and essentially careening from one new idea to the next, acknowledges the need to prioritise, but indicates he has to get through his short term list first.
Each of these conversations are real – they all occurred in the past. And while they happen to be about young, relatively small companies, each of these situations scales to big, mature companies as well. If it’s not about closing a round of funding, it’s about getting funding in the annual budget. If it’s not about investor feedback, it’s about reacting to the latest round of input from the CFO or the Board. And who among us hasn’t said bemoaned the quarter-to-quarter focus of publically held companies of every size and sector?
Each of these stories point to the need every business has for strategy. And even if you think you don’t have one and can coast along until you have time, guess again – you have strategy, it is just by default.
Strategy is what leaders do to identify and allocate resources to help them get their businesses where they want them to go. It is mostly about execution.
Strategy is about knowing (1) where are you? — (2) where do you want to be? — (3) how are you going to get there?
There are both direct and opportunity costs of deferring answers to these three questions, and ultimately taking the actions that ensure every employee and partner can buy into and play their roles in ways that reflect the answers.
Also read: Driving your business to success
What I am suggesting is not a one-and-done exercise. It’s not a solo activity. And while it may begin at an offsite or work session, it’s not a meeting. This is a process to reflect in your daily leadership, management, and the culture of your company. This is how strategy becomes meaningful to creating sustainable and persistent growth.
Also read: Step one to your after COVID future
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Posted byAmy J. Radin
Business Builder | Portable Expert | Marketing, Digital, Innovation | Speaker | Advisory Boards