The Hazards of a Perfect Strategy

Worried that you haven’t formulated the perfect business strategy? You may be getting bogged down with worrying about perfection when “done” may be better than “perfect”. While a good strategy is essential, the right balance for business success includes equal parts of a timely thoughtful strategy and strong technical execution. In today’s dynamic environment, identifying a perfect strategy is not the most practical use of your time. Focusing on a “good enough” strategy can help move your business forward. This allows you to move forward and not be stuck in analysis paralysis and tweak your strategy as you progress. George Deeb, Managing Partner of Red Rocket Ventures, shares his experience as a case in point with his article in Forbes Entrepreneurs of the importance of assigning an experienced “A+ Team” on execution. 

For many businesses, technology inevitably factors into the realization of any business strategy. It is worthwhile to consider the following questions as you define your chosen strategy.

  1. What is my current technology landscape?
  2. Do I have the appropriate tools to execute the technology aspects of the strategy?
  3. What’s my current technology budget and will it cover any additional tools that need to be added?
  4. Do I have the resources to manage existing and future technology?
  5. What is the plan and budget for implementing new technologies as they become available?

It is normal to have uncertainty in any strategy, and in fact, if you are entirely comfortable with uncertainty, chances are you will be unpleasantly surprised when things do not go as planned. Some like Roger Martin from the Harvard Business Review would even advocate that strategic planning should be a simple, rough-and-ready process of thinking through what it would take to achieve what you want then assessing whether it’s realistic to try. 

Whether you approach your strategy conceptually or with a little more structure, it is important to avoid the analysis-paralysis trap. Once a good enough strategy is selected, it is in the execution where the so-called “rubber meets the road”. During this period, it is critical to have your experienced “A+ Team” available. In the execution of a strategy, Jessie Torres from Entrepreneur offers practical advice. 

  1. Set Clear Priorities – Be realistic. Having too many priorities is like keeping too many balls in the air.
  2. Collect and Analyze Data – Develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can be measured and routinely monitored so appropriate adjustments can be made on a timely basis.
  3. Keep a Rhythm to Meetings – Continuous and effective communication helps to maintain focus and momentum. Conclude each meeting with salient points and action items.
  4. Evaluate the Strategy – Hold periodic strategy reviews with leadership to assess the progress, revisit your Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) and next steps, and determine if adjustments are necessary.

For small businesses, execution can be a challenge with limited resources; however, having the discipline to stick to the basics has proven to be a formula for success. Ninestone has the experience and can help you balance time spent on developing strategy with getting to the point of executing a strategy to support your business needs.

It is not the strongest of species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsible to change.” Charles Darwin

June, 2016

Ninestone Team