Building a Strategic Mindset (continued)
Build a solid framework of data and information. The more quickly you can assess your position, the better. This may mean creating a data dashboard of key performance metrics for your business with trigger points for specific actions to either take advantage of upswings or address a significant shift.
As you add to your team, you want to assign them with responsibility for many of these key metrics, such as sales, marketing, lead generation, operations, profits and losses, collections and such. These should be provided to you so that you can measure them against plan and goals. They will also help you identify issues that need to be addressed or areas that need attention.
Without this level of intelligence gathering, you won’t know where you are headed or what challenges await you.
Don’t rely on data to tell you the whole story. Walk the floor of your business, talk to customers, team members and suppliers. Gather intelligence wherever you can. The more you know about your company, the more you can affect it from a strategic level.
Go Wide, Go Deep
As you build a strategic mindset, use your planning time to focus your creativity, energy and attention on the longer term. Don’t let the day-to-day consume your life. You want to step back and get to the core of issues and situations that you think are pertinent to your business and its long-term viability and success.
Some of the questions that may help you think broadly and deeply about your business include:
- Who is my customer or client? Are there other markets we could be serving?
- What will my customers want in the future?
- What processes, resources, skills or abilities could my team need to be more successful in the future?
- What can we do differently that will produce a payoff in the future?
- How is the market changing, and what does it mean for my business?
- What do my competitors see that I don’t? Are they shifting in directions we need to go?
- How is the organization changing, and what is it we are trying to achieve?
Broader questions can serve as a catalyst for deeper thinking about your business. They require you to take a step back, catch your breath and think about your enterprise from a different perspective. This will spur additional ideation and thought about your business, its potential, the market and your operations. This, in turn, will help you plan for the future from a strategic viewpoint that will propel your company to new heights.