‘To find where you are going, you must know where you are’ – John Steinbeck
In these uncertain times, having something to anchor you is more important than ever.
Having a clear strategy – a pathway through the unpredictability can provide a measure of comfort, while what will one day become a historical event plays out.
You may have noticed the growing day-to-day expectations placed on business leaders. Increased market volatility, more pressure from the competition, greater demands from employees and the community to ‘do the right thing’. And this pressure has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Too often, leaders abdicate their responsibility to set a longer-term strategic direction due to a focus on short-term results and a ‘who knows what’s around the corner?’ attitude.
But if your people don’t know the long-term destination of the business and its purpose:
- You’ll all go in different directions.
- You won’t build a competitive advantage.
- Decisions will be made on the fly with no consistency, or
- They will keep landing back on you, loading the pressure on you as a leader
The conventional approach to strategy is based on the notion that by employing a set of sophisticated analytic tools, executives can reliably anticipate the future of any firm, allowing them to adopt a clear strategic course. That strategy has shown to be effective in generally steady firms.
However, it tends to fail when the environment is so unclear that no amount of solid analysis can forecast the future.
The future is always uncertain.
However, by focusing on what you can control, being cognisant of what you can’t, and retaining a predisposition for action, you can succeed even in the most difficult circumstances.