Strategy is one of those words people like to throw out.  It makes them sound smart.  The word is easy to say, but hard to stick to.

Let’s assume you’ve picked the right strategy.  Here’s the thing: It’s about way more than choosing a direction.  Strategy says this is what our company is going to focus on.  If you say your company is going to be X and to do that, it’s going to serve the needs of a particular target, then you’ve got to stick to that.  Strategy is there to be the filter through which you view all of your decisions.  How do you spend your time? How and where do you deploy your people?  Which targets will you abandon?

It’s this last point that is, admittedly, the most difficult.  Especially if your company has gotten used to generating revenue from a particular audience segment.  But if your strategy says focus only on activities that support or benefit Target X and you continue to pursue Target Y, you’re draining your company’s limited resources.   It’s a loser’s way to do business, and it guarantee that your firm won’t be as competitive as it could be.

Time to be a grownup and make a choice.  You won’t be able to chase after everyone.  You might also need change your metrics and your KPIs.  Executing a new strategy against old metrics means you’re going to be pulled in a bunch of different directions.  This is the age of focus.  Once you set your strategy, execute against it relentlessly.  And when opportunities come up, bring up that strategy and use it as a filter so that your team remembers what’s important.


Posted by Rob Fields