No strategy, no business!

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Business Leader Columnist Feature - Rob PerksSometimes people ask me: “Why do you spend so much of your time at Inspire on strategy?”

I usually reply: “Imagine two Company Directors from different businesses setting out on a journey by car. The first has a general idea of the direction he wants to head in – he’s aiming to get to the coast with his young family for a day out.

“He knows that means heading south so he decides to follow the built-in compass in his car following a southerly direction.

“The second has decided which beach on the south coast will suit his family best and so he enters the postcode into his sat nav. He knows getting stuck in traffic with young children can be a nightmare, so he checks the traffic reports to ensure his route will avoid traffic warnings.

“He also wants the journey to be as fast as possible, so he enters ‘fastest route.’ He knows his family will need at least one comfort and refreshment break along the way, so he looks up places to eat and enters a stop off point into his sat nav.

“Which of these two are likely to have the easiest and most successful journey?”

The first director finds that, very quickly, he’s stuck in a traffic hold up. He ends up following his compass down impassable narrow lanes and when he finally arrives after a four-hour drive, with fractious children and a stressed-out partner asking him why they bothered, the beach is inaccessible except down a very long flight of steps to a stony beach unsuitable for children.

The second director arrives in almost half the time with a happy family at the sandy beach and smiles as he parks up his car in the free car park.

You get the picture.

A good strategy for a business is simply a well thought out route to a planned destination, with thought given to potential obstacles along the way, an understanding of the competition and the market he or she is operating in, and ensuring the right people are in the business to support him or her in delivering the plan.

Without a clear strategic direction, it is impossible to effectively manage, change or develop a business. Any decisions made by the management team will be arbitrary without a clear strategy, no matter how much rigour is applied to the analysis.

Employee motivation is often closely linked to the ability of the management team to create a competent strategy and communicate it throughout the organisation frequently.

To book on a free strategy day with Inspire, book on at www.inspirebiz.co.uk/events

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