Monday, August 22, 2011

Do You Know WHY You Are Doing That?

Pat Mcgraw starts our week:

Strategy: What is it and Why is it Important

Posted: 16 Aug 2011 10:38 AM PDT

marketing strategy

I came across this question on LinkedIn this week, and thought it would be interesting to some of you…

There are some really good responses but my favorite, of course, is mine. ;) What is your answer to the question? How has ‘strategy’ helped (or hurt) your business?

Strategy is one piece of the puzzle for building a successful business – the four pieces include goals, objectives, strategies and tactics.

First, you start with goals. Goals are high-level planning targets that your business will achieve. Usually somewhat abstract and unmeasurable. For example, “…to be the world leader in manufacturing widgets” or “…to be the best white tablecloth restaurant in Chicago.”

Next, goals drive objectives. Objectives are the measurable results that combine to achieve a goal. These are concrete and trackable and have a timeline associate with it. For example, “…to manufacture more than 10 million widgets in FY 2012″ or “…to win the critic’s choice award from the Chicago Sun in FY 2012.”

From these measurable objectives come strategy – the broad plan to achieve your objectives. Like goals, these are more abstract so examples might include “…expanding sales beyond the US into international markets” or “…hire a world class chief that will rework the menu.”

Finally, your strategies drive the tactics – the actionable tasks to support the strategy. Tactics are concrete things you can “do.” Examples might include “…sign a partner deal with Company X to sell and distribute our widgets in China” or “…hire Bobby Flay as head chief.”

Hopefully this answers your question regarding the importance of strategy – it drives your organization’s actions. Everything that the people do within your organization (tactics) need to support the strategies in order to achieve the objectives and realize the goals.

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