How to Make Strategic Decisions Without A Crisis
Originally published: 06/09/2018 16:00
Publication number: ELQ-82116-1
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How to Make Strategic Decisions Without A Crisis

10 Tips To Strategic Decisions Made Without A Crisis


Strategic decisions set the overall direction for your business, whereas operational decisions set day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, most of the entrepreneurs who contact me for guidance only seem to work on strategic issues when they are in a crisis, such as losing a major distributor or being swamped with customer complaints. It’s a bit late when strategy becomes operational.
I recommend that every entrepreneur and business owner carve out some time every week for proactively work on strategy. I call it working on the business versus working in the business. Working on the business should not be done in the same ad-hoc crisis style as operational decisions. I suggest a more formal analysis and decision process along the following lines:

  • Step n°1 |

    Identify potential next business steps based on trends.

    Force yourself to step outside the box and come up with a half dozen innovative changes which might improve the business. Ask your team to prioritize these alternatives, based on costs and other impacts. Part of the intent here is to get buy-in from the team that change is not all bad.

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  • Step n°2 |

    Challenge your team with strategic questions and issues.

    The process of asking and answering strategic questions is key to getting everyone to think beyond today. Every entrepreneur benefits from out of the box thinking. The “5 Whys” is another iterative technique used to determine the root cause of issues and stimulate in-depth thinking.

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  • Step n°3 |

    Ask for analysis and feedback based on long-term impact.

    Often, beneficial changes will have a short-term cost to achieve market growth or competitive advantage. Investors, for example, usually want short-term profit distribution versus re-investing for the future. Thus every analysis needs to chart impact over the strategic timeframe, with risks.

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