𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝘆 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘀𝗲𝘁 𝗔𝗺𝗶𝗱𝘀𝘁 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗼𝘀
Updated: Jul 9, 2022
In startups, planning must happen during constant change and crises. Concentrating on strategy is incredibly difficult while extinguishing fires.
However, strategy is crucial. Nothing else matters if you're missing a critical market trend that will ruin your client base or revenue generation.
𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲
Here are some considerations for how to strengthen strategy without requiring a lot of time or resources:
Introspection: Quarterly, envision the company in one year and decide if you have the right people and necessary skills to reach the next level. Your team may have most of the valuable skills and you can draw on someone else to fill in a couple gaps.
Alignment: Confirm that every team and individual is working in the same direction as the company's goals. Direct alignment can expedite growth and demand fewer resources by focusing resources on expansion (and avoiding misdirection).
Evolution: Gauge if you have the appropriate team and resources to implement the vision as the company expands. For instance, a head of customer service may support 10 or 1,000 customers, incredibly different roles with the same title.
Your team must design an incredible strategy and execute those ideas, yet these are two distinct skill sets. If you're a visionary also responsible for implementation, keep in mind:
Decisiveness: Every milestone reached or missed (e.g. revenues or development) must trigger immediate scrutiny. You may need to quickly train people, leverage external resources, or add experienced managers.
You also may face letting people go. While valuable to your success, unfortunately, they may not be able to handle the next stage. It's tough when yesterday's key contributors do not fit into tomorrow's plans. Be candid, direct, and respectful in any transitions.
Stages: The effectiveness of strategy depends on both the current and the next stages of the business. When planning, ask if this is the best path for now, how do we measure success, and when will the plan need to be reviewed?
Find ways to move forward without fully committing to any next stage so you can measure progress and efficiency before deciding next steps.
Advice: Lean into diverse advisors, leaders, and clients for input on new strategy.
“𝑵𝒐 𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒃𝒓𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒈𝒚, 𝒊𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖’𝒓𝒆 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂 𝒔𝒐𝒍𝒐 𝒈𝒂𝒎𝒆, 𝒚𝒐𝒖’𝒍𝒍 𝒂𝒍𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒂 𝒕𝒆𝒂𝒎." – Reid Hoffman
You get useful feedback from key stakeholders who know something about the company but are not biased by legacy or politics. You also prepare them for a big upcoming change and help increase their support later.
Creating, driving, and evaluating strategy are distinct talents. Know your strengths and decide the best approach for each area.