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You have to get out!

leadership strategy Oct 08, 2020

You may know the situation when parents encourage their children to go outside and play instead of always sitting at home. Why do they do that? Sure, because they want their children to gain experience and learn something outside.

Because we know that life experience never comes from studying indoors, but from getting your hands dirty.

When I'm working on strategy with my clients, I sometimes feel like the daddy who says, "You have to get out there to gain experience and test your ideas!"

What do I mean by that? For most people, the strategy process encounters a big bump when it comes to the transition from strategy creation to implementation. Often, they have developed great new value propositions and new business models, or have come up with new structures and requirements for the workforce or other innovations.

And what happens next? Many are now trying to perfect these results with more people. Other stakeholders are involved in the discussion of business models or HR managers in consideration of cultural change. The discussions become more difficult because more and more details are added.

It drags on and, at some point, often comes to a complete standstill. That makes me want to cry, because the results were excellent in the first step. Then people just took a wrong turn, because instead of finally "going out to play," they continued to deal with themselves “at home." 

But as stated above, you can only gain experience outside. That's why you need to get out into the market, and into the reality of your culture, as quickly as possible with your new strategy hypothesis. Only in this way can you avoid dying in the "discussion madness.”

Here are three ideas how to do this in concrete terms:
  1. Start selling before creating. Once you have decided on new value propositions and related offers (almost always an important part of the strategy), try to sell them to existing trusted customers - before you develop or even produce them! You can offer favourable entry conditions, or whatever else suits your market. Only when the first customer shows serious interest do you know that you are on the right track.
  2. Start small. In the case of cultural change topics, start the changes with a few teams or divisions. See how it goes. You almost always have to make adjustments to the communication and the exact design. But you only know that when you test your ideas in real life.
  3. Shrink the time for everything; i.e. set demanding time targets. For example, you can expect your people to have tested a new value proposition on 10-20 customers within 2-4 weeks and come back with suggestions for adjustments. Many leaders wait far too long and then wonder why nothing happens.

If you want to develop and implement your new business strategy quickly, then we should talk. Just get in touch with me. Click here.

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