I don’t do strategy

Reconstructed Trojan Horse at Troy in TurkeyHow many times have you heard that?

Maybe you have even said it yourself.

Imagine what would have happened if the Greeks had said that when they were contemplating how to seize the city of Troy. There would have been no Trojan horse and many more years of misery for both them and the Trojans.

In case you may be thinking that the strategy WAS the Trojan horse, here is the probable thinking that went on in the Greek camp.

“Dimetri, how long are we going to sit outside Troy then? Our supplies are running low, and some of the soldiers are pretty fed up with army rations. Having boiling oil poured on them every day for months is taking its toll on morale too”

“Lord Paris says we have to stay here until Troy gives Lady Helen back, you know, the one with the really pretty face. I think he wants to capture Troy too, so they can’t steal her back’

“Yeah, but our strategy of sitting outside the gates and wacking their supply chain isn’t working. They have much better weapons than we have and more soldiers too. We need a new strategy”

Greek army leaders have an away-day and review their BHAS (Big Hairy Audacious Strategies). Following a flurry of post-it-notes and other creative thinking techniques, they come up with a new strategy.

“Brilliant idea Dimetri! We need to get inside the city of Troy – without them knowing! How do we do that?”

More away-days, large quantities of Ouzo, and someone has an aha! moment

“We could build a big wooden horse, and put lots of soldiers inside! If we present this as a ‘present’, they’ll take it inside and we can attack at night from inside the city!”

The rest, as they say, is history.

The point here is that without the strategy to get soldiers inside the city without being seen, they would never have thought of building a wooden horse. Sadly, it is the tactical decision that got all the credit, not the genius strategy to get soldiers inside the city unseen.

 

Here are some more thought on why a strategy is so important:

You’ll know what to do when disaster strikes

Not just the big ‘plane hit the building’ disaster, but also the little ones too. Strategy defines how you will bring your organisational resources, skills and competencies together to achieve success or to avoid a disaster. That will not be the time you want to be having meetings about the best approach; that is the time you want everyone to know what to do! But if you would prefer to read about someone who didn’t have a strategy for their disaster – read this blog

Better handle on the risks

There are many risks associated with running a business, yet most business owners and managers don’t look at them closely, preferring to trust their ability to fly by the seat of their pants. The bankruptcy courts are full of them!

Everyone will know what to do

If everyone knows what to do, then you can go home on time and spend time with your family, or the latest technology gadget or your hobby e.g. building a replica Trojan Horse.

A framework for decision making

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a framework against which you could test your decisions? Well, that’s a strategy. Making decisions is easier, your decisions are more consistent and you will have more time for your family etc. (see previous point).

You’ll grow faster

If nothing else, you’ll have more time to think about where and how you want to grow. A strategy is like having a ladder to success.

Click if you’d like some help with setting a strategy (and a free guide) or call Jacqui Hogan on 01494 680997.

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