By Clever Mavanza
We are living in a world where change has become the new normal. Lack of strategic planning programs, organizations, and individuals for automatic failures. A sound company needs to zoom in to formulate tactical plans which complement the overall strategy. Zooming out is equally important. It allows you to notice the overall picture and exploit opportunities.
How do you formulate plans?
The essence of planning is to reach goals. The strategy is the vehicle that transports an institution to its destination. The strategy encompasses three core principles. A clear picture of the current status. This is where you and your team must define reality and face cold facts. It may be difficult to confront our shortcomings but it’s a gateway to moving forward. Anyone who dodged facts is in a state of self-denial. If you look in the mirror it accurately reflects your image.
When the business landscape alters its trajectory you may be surprised that your plans are not squarely fitting to the environment. A cheetah can be the fastest animal on land but if it reaches a plateau the speed element is reduced to nothing. Only a bird can overcome such a limitation. Be prepared for unseen circumstances when you face such a transition in the business landscape.
Plans require adjustments when the environment has become volatile. Jack Welch said,’ if the rate of change outside an organization is faster than the rate of change inside the end is near..’This applies to business and the academic field. Strategy is not the final match of merely preserving the present. It is carving out plans that suit the ever-changing industrial dynamics. Gone are the days when of fighting with spears. Innovative disruptions alter brick-and-mortar ways of doing business.
Another major factor that equally guarantees success is collaboration with subordinates with different skills sets. Partnering with personnel possessing various allows you to see the world from different angles . Where you see they facilitate opportunities.
There was a time when there was a limit to imports in Zimbabwe. When others were lamenting of lack of business growth, others poured resources into the sector and reaped exponential growth. Strategy is about capitalizing on opportunities presented by the environment.
Always remember opportunities have a short shelf life. Opportunities come not at your convenience but at your own time. Napoleon said,’ A leader has the right to be beaten but not to be surprised.
What of analysis.
Every driver knows that it is prohibited to overtake at blind spots. The business world is littered with blindspots capable of leading your business to collapse. Sometimes success causes an organization to play by old rules. Success is a catalyst to complacency where repetition replaces creativity. Complacency slows down innovation which is a pivot for strategy. This mostly affects big corporations. In mapping strategy always include the what is analysis coupled with the SWOT analysis tool. Ask you yourself, what if a supplier runs out of raw materials?
Do you have another option? What if our products are made obsolete by technology or competitors? This allows you not to over-invest in dead investments. Centuries ago, before the advent of large-scale production of motor vehicles a certain company invested in the production of quality whips for horses only to realize cars have taken over. That was in the days of Henry Ford. Blindspot can lead you to the demise of your organization. Before the devastating effects of coronavirus, we wrote an article on strategy in 263 chat e-magazine. It contained ingredients for successful strategy implementation.
Most businesses were not prepared for this heavy industrial shock. Probably there was no collection of a customer database to keep in touch with customers. Gone are the days when you can just sell products or services to customers. Power has shifted to consumers as there are now a variety of choices facilitated by the internet.
Some did not have ways and means to distribute their products during the lockdown. A shock can only damage if there are not enough cushions to minimize impacts. Most importantly they reveal the strength and business intelligence of your organization. The number of shocks you have survived indicates the presence of a strong team.
Design a plan with branches.
Buying a power bank is a strategic plan to curb power cuts. If the road you want to use is inaccessible what strategic alliances have you put in place to counter that? Plans are well-calculated moves containing contingencies but not deviating from the master plan. A major blindspot most companies make is ignoring latent competitors. These are competitors outside your playing field in the business world.No one anticipated that smartphones will eventually threaten cameras.No one knew that mobile phones will potentially kill the television industry.
Products may not be on the same shelf but they have competition, no matter how unrelated. Sound planning gives your organization a chance to survive and prosper. Strategy is the currency of the future. Clearly define where you are, where you want to go, and the means to get there. You are on your road to success. When there is poor rainfall that is a wake-up call to drill boreholes. The world has no mercy with people who lack sound planning. When you do not have sufficient cash flow, acquire skills to increase your income.
Connect with thinkers to revolutionalize your thinking capacity. That’s a good start for great leadership. Connect with leaders in your industry. Stand on their shoulders and become a tower in your field.
Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen far it was because I stood on shoulders of giants.”
Which shoulders are you standing on? Who are you providing shoulders to stand on?
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