No Ivory Towers Here!

I have been pondering about strategy over recent weeks and how often it can be misunderstood and underutilised.

You see, strategy shouldn’t live in the ivory tower of the board room or with the person who has the ‘strategy badge’; it is something for everyone.  It’s a discipline and mindset that can help us whatever our role, whatever our challenge.

It may be at a project level or involve launching a new product.  It may be at a business level and be linked to increasing profitability.  It may be at a team level and involve a team that is not gelling.  Or it may be something personal like a career change or a promotion.  Regardless of our challenge making strategy our ally will improve our chances of success.

How?  Well, here, inspired by all those tech dudes out there, is my own mini “APP”

Ahead    |    Process    |    P.A.C.E.

APPAhead:  Being strategic helps us take a longer term view of the challenges we may be facing.  Start by thinking of what you want to achieve by when; for example, a launch date, a time frame for turnaround or getting that dream job or promotion.  When we start thinking longer term instead of from day-to-day we get a better understanding of our challenge.

APPProcess:  Our world is dynamic and our strategy must be too.  By remembering that strategy is a process we will maintain that sense of it being dynamic.  Here’s a tip; use The ACID Test.

Analyse    .    Choose    .    Implement    .    Develop    .

Analyse what you have and what the future opportunities and threats may be.  Make some strategic Choices about what you are going to do.  When you Implement your strategy embrace any anomalies and learn from the results.  And always remember to keep Developing and refining your strategy.

APPP.A.C.E.:  It’s true that The ACID Test helps us make strategy a process, what’s missing is some heart and soul.  Taking my PACE Approach adds that magic dust.

Perspective    .    Adding value    .    Creativity  .    Empathy  .

It helps us to face our challenge with a true Perspective of the past and the present as well as helping us create a vivid vision or a glorious goal for the future.  It encourages us to use our Creativity and generate lots of interesting choices and options.  And it puts people at the heart by helping us Empathise and Add value for all the key players and stakeholders in our challenge.

I love strategy because it can help everyone face a multitude of challenges and by following my mini “APP” I know it can help you too.  So let’s release strategy from those ivory towers and let it work its magic for us all.

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