In the changing business landscape knowing how to build and manage a strategy that wins is essential. As we all know now, the pandemic happened overnight and the workforce and business landscape changed suddenly. In part, due to a combination of global events, existing businesses needed to quickly change gears. The writing was on the wall: companies needed to switch to more remote work and that’s a change that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.
With challenges happening so fast, it makes a successful business strategy all the more important. For some companies, thinking out of the box is normal and what they do every day, pandemic or not. But for other companies, changing what has worked in the past is quite difficult. There are three keys, or cues as we at MarketCues like to call them, that leaders need to master that we’ll discuss:
1: Internal communications
2: External awareness
3: Effective Integration
1: Internal communications motivate every person in a company to provide check-ins with those they work with and work for. This type of motivation is not easily produced in an environment that is continuously stressed out. If that’s the case, then people tend to silo themselves in their tight-knit group and work on their even more tightly knit tasks hoping to be left alone. Working remotely exasperated this phenomenon to new levels. Even with today’s newest technology, internal communications move at the speed of molasses when teams bunker into a negative and non-responsive mindset.
What to do if you sense some of this may be going on in your staff? Here is a quick solution to spot-check and make improvements. Introduce learning activities that are tied to specific work tasks that will make the team’s job easier, quicker, or more enjoyable. This is not a pop quiz or activity along those lines, but rather an actual new procedure or way to improve workflow.
2: External awareness of the business market you are in helps you create the corporate culture you need to successfully compete. It’s essential to hone your understanding of your external marketplace because it helps teams understand how to develop particular strategies that are most effective for your company. This allows you to build and manage the strategies under development and make sure your team is on the right track. Issues can be resolved during the development phase, such as what should we do if one or more of our products have fallen out of favor? It’s obviously far better to identify these types of problems and solutions in the incubator stage than to launch new products without a firm understanding of what the market truly wants.
3: Effective Integration throughout an organization allows everyone to know what problem is being solved with the new solution and provides the skills and behaviors required to successfully implement them. Simple to use internal scorecards are more important now than ever. This eliminates the possibilities of arbitrary questions because a properly designed scorecard is intrinsically tied to uncovering not just whether a strategy is working but what can be done to improve it. Testing for resilience is another important aspect to measure than ever, as it is the ability to self-motivate.
These three cues working together should permeate every aspect of a team’s everyday process. Vetting each day’s activity against this criteria will allow teams to overcome their toughest challenges, build new strategies and manage them effectively.