When things are running smoothly, why commit to a future that will call for breakthrough performance?

When revenues and sales are up, turnover is low and morale is good­–why would you consider creating a new strategy?

Here are three questions you can ask to determine whether it is time for a new strategy even when things are working.

  • Has there been (or could there be) a significant change in your marketplace?
  • Have you accomplished what you set out to accomplish?
  • Do you suspect your people might be complacent?

If the answer to any of these is yes, it is time to revisit your strategy and even consider committing to breakthrough performance.

And, of course, if you are a technology firm, then you know that given the rate of change in that environment, this needs to be done yearly.

Purposes can endure; strategies can change.

The purpose or vision of a business often endures many changes in the market place. Most often the business environment changes much faster than a vision or purpose. While the purpose remains steady, there can be much innovation in the strategy.

For example, for 100 years Johnson and Johnson has organized its business around caring for people. That has not changed. What they now offer, and how it is offered has changed enormously. 

Any powerful strategy answers the question, “What future are we committed to?”

When your company has a vision and/or a purpose, the strategy is then created to:

  •  Fulfill on that purpose.
  • Act on opportunities.
  • Overcome internal and external threats.

Beyond that, a well-created strategy can set the stage for breakthrough performance and creative thinking.

Given the rate of change in the market place, it is possible that whatever has allowed your current strategy to be effective may well be in the process of becoming obsolete.

If you are now thinking you need to revisit your strategy, where do you begin?

One strong first step is to gather a few key people together and ask questions like, “ What new opportunities and threats are on the horizon?” As well as the tougher questions, like, “is it possible we might become obsolete for the future?

These questions can lead you into a process of discovery and creativity, either inside your current purpose or out and into totally new territory.

(For more detail on strategy creation and strategy implementation see: Insigniam Quarterly, Building Strategy and Building Buy-In, by Nathan Rosenberg)

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