Top Five Business Strategy Tips
Updated: May 4, 2021
You've heard me and many others draw parallels between business and military battle for a while now but the truth is there are so many similarities. General George S. Patton once said, "Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy." Strategy in business is imperative to focus on every day whether it's on a micro or macro level.
You see, I grew up doing everything fast. I ate fast, talked fast, drove fast, acted fast and was clinically diagnosed with true ADHD before it was even a thing. Fortunately, when I was 24 I found endurance sports and put all my physical and mental energy in training and racing which, when it came down to my work, allowed me to focus on tasks and planning more effectively.
How does this have anything to do with strategy? What I realized is that acting and reacting fast didn't leave me time to strategize. What I found through being able to work with some great companies and with the marketing departments of some very large brands is that the strategy drives everything. You can have great experiential elements, amazing creative work and an awesome staff but the strategy of it all will drive the success. And strategy is best planned carefully, slowly.
So I learned to take a step back, not act too fast or react even faster. I learned how to discipline myself before saying something, sending an email or making a phone call. But, most importantly I taught myself to look at issues from a 60,000 foot view and forecast every possible scenario or outcome from any action or decision. Even in a business meeting I'll engage self talk to pause, take a breath and process before responding and I'm not shy to tell someone I'm thinking. This has worked very well even when meeting with business people from vastly different cultures and practices.
I've taken some time to jot down my top five tips to being more strategic and if you have any of your own please feel free to share in the comments section.
For very important phone calls/meetings write down how you want the flow of the conversation to go and what your objectives are. Even creating a flow chart or diagram can be helpful
Exercise sometime within 12 hours before a meeting, pitch or planning session. Not only has science proven that more blood flow to the brain helps stimulate ideas but I've had numerous business people tell me they generate more ideas and better quality strategic ideas while exercising
Before making any decisions confer with others and if possible discuss with those who have more experience
Look at any issue or situation from the other side and define what the other side is trying to get from deal or event. This will help you with creating a more effective strategy or with more creative ideation and force you to slow down your thinking
Take a pause, take a breath or take some time before sending that email or making the phone call. Proofread the email and perhaps let it sit for an hour or two or even overnight to see if you can modify or add anything to make it better. Think of what the intention is behind the email and what will be the next 3, 4 or five steps down the road. As you look at the various angles you can forecast results by repeating to yourself, 'If this, than that...'
Some situations or projects will force you to act quickly so the best advice I can give is to be ready for these situations and have the strategy in place to implement effectively.