When you're in the trenches, executing with your team, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. You no doubt spent a lot of time planning and reworking your strategy last year when Covid first hit, but how much time have you devoted to it since?
You can see why it gets put off, because 'just updating your strategy' seems like a huge and complicated task. You have fewer staff than you had before, you're hands-on in the business more than ever, and the thought of 'stopping' to review the strategy gives you a real sense of overwhelm.
To overcome this anxiety, try treating your strategy like a regular execution deliverable - like you do your social media posts, or calls to your best customers.
Block out at least half a day every month.
Clear your schedule in advance for your 'Strategy Hackathon'. Make sure your team are prepared to work without you and that no one books meetings during this blocked out time. This is time for you (& your senior team) to look at your strategy.
So what do you do at your Strategy Hackathon? You answer the most important questions.
By the end of your session, your goal should be to have a stronger answer to the most important strategic questions. Such as:
Who is our target market? (and it's not everyone!!)
What problem do we solve for them?
Who are our competitors and how do we outcompete them?
How do we take our product to market?
Ideally you'll be able to delegate these questions out to your team, and have them collate data and insights from the previous month to bring to the table. Get them to focus on one question so you can gather as much in-depth data as possible. And switch it up every month and get them working on answering different questions.
Update your Strategy Documents and present to the wider team
Getting into the habit of presenting answers to these questions above will make execution faster. Why? Because you'll spend less time explaining the 'why' to your team and debating priorities. As Jim Collins and Jerry Porras wrote in 'Built to Last' - “Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment.”
It also makes it a lot easier to brief your creative agency when you are working on a new campaign, and it certainly will focus your efforts so you can achieve your longer term goals.
If you're needing some help with your business strategy, we offer an interactive workshop that will engage you and your team in the 'big picture'. Check out the details here.