We’re spending the first part of the new year aligning our organisation around our top priorities and long-term plans for growth. To do this, we must develop an action plan that supports the strategy. Easier said than done.
A good action plan may require disrupting existing routines and responsibilities. These disruptions, which our team may initially perceive as negative and be resistant to (who welcomes disruptive change?) may be vital for our strategy to succeed.
Going through this process over the years, we’ve learned a few tips about the best approach. Keep these three factors in mind as you develop your own strategic action plan:
Create a sense of urgency.
The more established an organisation, the harder it is to implement change and execute transformation. Therefore, it’s important to build momentum early in the process. Shifting course is no simple task in a legacy business. It requires an army-like crew moving together toward a common goal. Without this collective effort, the ship may fail to reach its destination or, even worse, sink under its own weight.
Don’t build a business on a “burning” platform.
Executing on growth plans or a new product offering may require creating a distinct business unit. This takes a lot of time, testing, and trial. It’s better to build it before the industry beats you to it. We’ve been working over the last year to build a cloud accountancy service, to access a larger market at a time when small businesses are looking to reduce their overheads, and increase customer efficiency and satisfaction. Because competitors are also preparing to enter this space, it’s wise to invest now in long-term strategies to stay ahead of our rivals.
Don’t be afraid to cannibalize your existing business.
As business owners, we become very proud of the products we have created or the services we provide. However, it’s important to innovate and constantly stay atop of customers’ needs and demands, evolving our products and services accordingly. Apple does this quite well-, when the iPhone first launched, there was some concern that it would cannibalize the existing iPod franchise. But Apple was willing to make that trade-off in exchange for a much bigger opportunity.
What actions have you taken to execute your growth strategies?