Photo by Anne Nygard

Strategy work is just that, work. Solutions rarely fall from the sky into our laps. It takes a razor-sharp focus to rethink your organization’s optimum solution that will bring it to its next level of growth. 

While building a successful strategy is hard, it is also exciting. You get to choose the best next direction, including deepening client relations, increasing market share, driving new growth, or untangling market disruptions with an innovation. 

Many skills are required for strategists to put into action in order to get the results they are looking to achieve. Here are three ways to rethink what’s next that we think you’ll appreciate!

1. Understand What’s New in Your Market Before Deciding What’s Next.

It’s essential to know exactly what’s going on inside your organization. However, it’s just as important to know what’s happening in your marketplace. This takes a deliberate exploration of the latest innovations from accelerators in your field. 

Both for-profit and non-profit organizations often ignore their competition, thinking that internal and external research is a “Nice to Have” but not a “Need to Have.” What a mistake this is.  So many who take this position typically find their revenues declining and profits evaporating.

2. Build Real-Time Value with Real-Time Analytics.

For today’s marketplace, real-time data is opening a fast lane for innovation and growth. There are two different strategy architectures for acquiring analytics to differentiate your business and meet current and future customer expectations. The first and most often used is empirical data that relies heavily on observation and first-hand experience. Once you have a strategy worth evaluating, this is an excellent tool, but it’s premature if a solid strategy foundation has not been laid. 

The second is quantitative data which can be more time-consuming because the process of collecting and analyzing numerical information must be conducted with third-party objectivity. However, there is a great reward to the organization that pushes through and finds patterns that allow insightful predictions to be made. Research of this type is exacting and not a simple process that you accomplish in one afternoon because the data must be gathered from a broad population in your market. 

3. Driving Organizational Alignment Drives Organizational Growth.

Taking a deep dive into your organization’s current performance state tells you if your organization is aligned. Without a keen understanding of the inherent strengths and weaknesses of your organization, you can create a significant blind spot that can diminish the effectiveness of any new strategy you put in place. 

Resistance to knowing what is really going on inside and outside the organization has led to the end of some substantial and successful companies, including Kodak that refused to move from film to digital or Blockbuster Video that refused to move from DVD to streaming, or most recently, Toys “R” Us who refused the opportunity to develop its own e-commerce platform preferring to sign an onerous deal with Amazon as its exclusive sales outlet. 

Rethinking your strategy is often time-consuming and challenging, but the rewards for doing so can mean the difference between thriving versus surviving. These three best practices will allow you to rethink what’s next and increase your team’s productivity and innovation.