Solutions Through Understanding

What does the Future Hold?

Many companies believe they have a Strategy and that they have effectively communicated it to all their staff. Investigation will often show they are sadly mistaken. Thankfully the fad of Mission and Vision Statements has passed but some companies cling to them like ship wrecked sailors to a life raft hoping that help will arrive in time.

Mission and Vision Statements are a waste of time and effort. Companies spend weeks, or months, agonising over the wording of the statement; like it is some sort of mystic incantation that will advance their business - it won't. The failing of these statements is that they have no 'measures' everyone wants to be the biggest or the best BUT how will this be measured, how will the company know and what then? They also do not say How the mission or vision is to be achieved so they do not inspire or motivate staff in any way.

Nick Green

A company's Business Strategy is vitally important and Improving Quality, Improving Customer Service, Lowering Costs, Growth and Profit are ‘Givens’ for any company to survive today. Because any company that is not involved in aggressive programmes to continuously improve quality, continuously upgrade customer service to reduce BAU costs by between 8% and 15% per year and promote growth and the production of a reasonable profit will eventually fail.

The Key is understanding what is at the core of the business; what is the Key Driver. Many companies either don't know or different departments will not agree what the Key Company Driver is. Very often the company board members don't agree and if they don't agree how can the company be united in their efforts - a team building day won't make things better.

Team building days are fun and a break from the daily grind But they do not make the company perform any better! The reason teams work well together on a team building day is because they have been given Common Goals and Objectives. When the teams return to work after a good day out and a few drinks they return to a company where the company Goals and Objectives have not been agreed let alone communicated - so how can the 'team' work together when they don't know where they are going.

Nick Green

Another failing is the Planning Process as most companies do it the wrong way round. The process runs‘The Year Ahead’, ‘The Year after That’ and then it stops. The way it should be done is to start with 'Our View of the future' trends shaping the future of your business or industry - yes it will be a bit vague but is what you can pick out of the future through the mists of time. The 'Next 10 Years' – this is your long-term direction where the company is going to go this still may be unclear in some areas but contains clear statements, for example "we will have a 40% market share measured by volume". The 'Next 5 Years' – forms the basis for a medium-term plan with the main thrust of activities ; what new activities or business will begin and what existing activities may be discontinued. And finally 'The Year Ahead – your near-term priorities the immediate actions you will take this year. Make sure you press the buttons in the right order don't keep pressing the "The Year Ahead" button it will get you nowhere fast!

Can ISD Consultants help you develop a Business Strategy that will drive your company forward into the future.If you would like to discuss the options for your company provide your contact details using this form.

Nick Green is a Strategic advisor to Abacus Solution International and Vendorcom.