Four Rules for a Winning Strategy

July 23, 2019

Running a business, or any organization, is a lot like running a military campaign. You work in an uncertain environment and have to manage organizational resources and personnel while safeguarding your assets against competitors and achieve business goals. The word strategy itself comes from military usage but has been skillfully adapted into the business world.

In this blog, we look at four key military methods that can be used to execute a successful strategic plan for a business organization.

Have a Plan with a Clear List of Priorities
No war can be won without setting clear objectives about what you need to achieve, and no business can be a success without setting clear organizational goals. This is why you must have clear and quantifiable strattically focused goals about what you want to achieve with your business.

Remember as a leader, you may fail in fulfilling the organizational strategy if you set too many goals and priorities for the organization. Try 5-7 strategic goals and have all other goals “roll up” to those 5-7. Too many strategic goals causes the members of your organization to lose focus AND it is difficult to measure success.

Establish a single priority at any given time with a secondary objective. For example, the business priority might be the introduction of a new product or raising sales by 10% for a year. Secondary goals can be an improvement in employee morale or skill level through new training modules.

Without a clearly defined set of key performance indicators, the organization risks coming to a halt. But having too many priorities/goals can also backfire and end up wasting resources. When you try to juggle more than you can handle, there is a good chance that eventually all the balls will fall to the ground.

Collect and Review Information
Organizational leaders must be aware of what is going on in their environment. Market trends, technology advances, Client demand, and competitor actions must be closely monitored, and data must be collected at all times for analysis.

One way organizations can do this is by creating key performance indicators and look at which strategy is working and which one isn’t. Data collected from the Clients, Consumers, Customers and competitors must be easy to quantify and compare. An environmental evaluation must be carried out on a regular basis; weekly, monthly, and every quarter.

The analysis of the environment will help the organization review and adjust its plans as well.

Execute Business Plans
Winning a battle in the business world (Federal Government, Department of Defense and the Private Sector) is all about the execution of strategy. Leadership must make resources available and give direction to their team members to carry out their duties.

The team members should be gathered together periodically to go over the organization’s vision and strategic plans. It helps keep practical efforts in sync with the organization’s goals and overall strategy.

Weekly, even daily huddles can be organized by the line managers to give their team members the day’s objectives and review performance from the previous day.

Adjust the Business Strategy
The ultimate organizational goal(s) can be fixed, but the strategy should be fluid. In war, your objective is to force the opponent to surrender on your terms, but there are practically hundreds of strategies and tactical moves you can make to achieve that goal. The same can be said of the business world.

You should never stick to a single strategy in the course of business. Review how your strategy is helping you move your organization to achieving its goal. If you feel that you can make tweaks to the strategy to achieve better results, don’t be hesitant in making changes.

Make sure that the change in plans is communicated to all the concerned team members so that they can put in their best efforts in achieving the organizational objectives.

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