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A Great Strategy Starts with These Five Tips


Despite the current challenges and disruptions COVID is presenting, focusing on current and future strategic planning is something businesses shouldn't avoid. I suppose the good news is that 2021 will soon be over and we are all hopefully about to enter into a new chapter. Australia is literally wanting to leap out of COVID, like getting out of a sales meeting or company Christmas party you never wanted to be at!

At The Bridge International, we are always working with our clients on both their future and current strategies. When it comes to developing and executing plans with leadership teams, there are strategies that work, and strategies that simply don’t.


So, what then makes a good strategy and plan?

After facilitating business plans and go to market strategies for teams over the past 20 years, Ben Coleman Partner at The Bridge International believes there are some key tips businesses should follow:


Here are Ben’s top 5 tips:

  1. Be brutally honest about your current state

  2. Re-validate the roadmap to your North Star

  3. ‘The How’. Keep it simple

  4. Make sure you can execute and embed the strategy

  5. Commercialise your strategy


In this article we will focus on tips 1 and 2, which businesses can embrace for success.


1. Be brutally honest about your current state


To really know where you want to go, you must make a brutally honest assessment about the current state of your business. Given this extraordinary year, being brutally honest about your business’s performance is even more important than before, given the rise of market disruptors and the pace of digital change in the last 12 months.


Disruption has been on steroids, and if you are exposed to these forces then you must take a candid look at your business’s operating model. You may need to pivot and compete in a different way. If you are a disruptor, perhaps you can be a little more glass half full.


If you’re going to be brutally honest, it might be worth having an independent health check to avoid unconscious bias. At The Bridge, we conduct a fast track, low cost, assessment of business. Our 360 Degree Review provides clients an honest assessment of current state performance and can be completed in a matter of weeks. It may not be what you want to hear, but what you need to hear.


The 360 Degree Review Approach


Our approach includes both quantitative and qualitative diagnostics. This includes stakeholder interviews from senior leadership to frontline, 360 degree questionnaire, analysis of financial performance and review of business plans.

The 360 Degree Review Outputs


The output of the review provides a snapshot and benchmark of performance across culture, customer and commercials.

  1. Benchmark your organisation against the competition

  2. Key themes and word clouds from stakeholder interviews

  3. Review of current performance and assessment of operational barriers to achieving strategic goals

We know from our research that leaders can rate their customer service performance 20-30% higher than their actual customer ratings. Can you really stand back and take an unbiased view of your business’s performance?


Where are you on the scale of disruptor to being disrupted? If you can be honest about your current state, then the gap analysis between where you are and where you want to be will be a constructive and invaluable process. As they say, the first step in personal development is always self-awareness and acknowledging you have a weakness, problem or can be a better version of yourself.


2. Re-validate the roadmap to your North Star


Hopefully your vision and purpose are clear and your North Star is shining brightly. In some cases, you may need to revisit this given the level of market disruption over the last 12 months.


While your vision and purpose should be able to withstand a crisis, COVID-19 has been extraordinary and has changed some customer behaviours forever. Revalidating your strategic roadmap may be worthwhile if you want to stay competitive and in the game. In some cases, businesses are having to re-invent themselves and change their ambition.


So how do you re-validate?

  • Undertake a deep dive market analysis (SWOT), customer segments, channels & geography, competitor benchmark

  • Define and agree parameters to move from traditional plays to disruptor model strategy

  • Determine and agree key initiatives and service offerings required to support disruptor play and translate into strategic roadmap

In the next article we will expand on tips 3 to 5 - Keeping 'The How’ simple, ensuring the strategy can be embedded and commercialising your strategy.


To learn more about how we can help be The Bridge between your strategy and operational execution, please get in touch.


For more information visit us at www.thebridgeinternational.com.au





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