Effective Business Strategies
Winning is directly connected to a clear strategy.
It is true with athletics and it’s demonstrated in every successful endeavor. The artist visualizes her creation on a blank canvas. The writer begins with an objective statement. The builder has a blueprint.
Many businesses have lost focus of their strategies. Without a set of strategies a business becomes lost, unfocused and chasing the newest shiny object. A Harvard Business Review study found 90% of executives feel that their company is not as great as it could be. Specifically, customers are under served in the market; the reach of the business is stifled. The successful businesses have something in common: they all have a set of clear, actionable, measurable strategies. If your company’s strategies are coming up short, where do you begin to repair them?
People. Process. Product.
These make up the foundation of your business. When each of these three elements are working together there is no limit to your company’s success.
People. There’s a lot of business advice available. One common theme of all successful companies is this: great people. Having great people isn’t enough to guarantee success. Getting the right people working on the right projects to move forward the right strategies is critical. As your business grows your team structure needs to grow, too.
Process. With the right people doing the right things we can help identify the roadblocks and bottlenecks that prevent them from being efficient and productive. The Armour Martin team will analyze your business processes to make everything flow with minimal friction. You’ll also see a happier, more engaged team.
Product. The fuel of your business is the products and services you offer to your customers. The Armour Martin team has a structured process to review your product offering and allow you to win the marketplace. Let us help clarify your product offering and make a definitive game plan for your next move.
HOW TO WIN
Winning in the marketplace requires alignment of strategies with business capabilities. When the Armour Martin team helps you implement your business strategies they will provide a review of each strategy and business capabilities each quarter.
Here’s how it works:
- Identify Capabilities: What does your business do?
- Assess Capabilities: What improvements need to be made to meet your strategies?
- Develop Strategies to Meet Goals: What are the 3-5 things you are going to do to reach your goals?
- Monitor Progress: Are the strategies and implementation working?
- Make Changes: Test, learn and adjust. Give your team time to see if something is working but don’t delay making changes when necessary.
A business capability describes a business function of the company. It describes what is done without describing how it is done; it separates function from process.
A bakery that sells pastries will have specific capabilities like getting ingredients, making the product, staffing, and operating the business.
Identifying capabilities helps business leaders in several ways. It allows them to create business strategies with functions the company already does. It changes the conversation from “what do we want launch to expand our client base?” to “how do we provide maximum value to our clients with what we currently do?”
Defined business capabilities provide a stable platform to build out business strategies. Knowing what the company does eliminates risk and guesswork when trying to launch a new product or service.
Knowing what your company does gives you a reference point to assess how well you do it. For small and mid-sized companies there should be a limit of three to five capabilities. From these conduct a full assessment of two or three.
The capabilities that are chosen for a full assessment should be those that are needed to achieving your most important business strategies.
Perhaps the most important step in the process is monitoring how well the business implements the strategies. Choose measuring criteria to track progress that includes people, process and product. Establish a timeline to measure progress and a system to share results with your team. With a short product lifecycle you may be able to monitor progress daily; for long life-cycles the progress might require monthly measurement. In every case measuring in the shortest possible timeframe will provide the best insight for progress.
Develop Strategies to Meet Goals
Now that you know what the company’s capabilities are it you can quickly identify which capabilities will be necessary to meet your goals. Choose four or five goals and write business strategies with specific measurable action steps that can be implemented right away.
After several measuring cycles you will have a good understanding of whether the strategy is working or not. Determine what is working and what isn’t. What changes need to be made knowing what you now know? With these answers you will have a clear focus on the right activities to implement or adjust your strategies.
It is important to have a timely feedback loop. This brings extreme focus and clarity on the activities that make the most impact on your business. To keep the business moving forward the strategy and capability review process needs to be repeated regularly.
Does it Work?
Armour Martin consultants will help your organization get through these strategy and implementation cycles. We will provide the structure and guidance to ensure you maximize your business’s impact on the world.
Case Study. The Coca-Cola Company, Proctor & Gamble, Kimberly Clark, and others have seen unparalleled success using this approach. The Harvard Business Review published this graph to show the results of using capability based strategies. You can see it works. In fact, it has been so successful that Harvard Business School now includes this training in their MBA curriculum.
What Does it Mean?
It works for industry leading companies, and it can work for you. Armour Martin Consulting will provide the guidance you need to move your business forward without needing to be a Fortune 500 company.
If you are ready to unlock the potential of your business, expand the impact on your customers and win in the marketplace we are ready to help you.