It’s easy to feel like you’re making the right decisions when you’re feeling comfortable. But when you’re looking at your business in the face of change, strategy is all about embracing uncertainty, risk, and discomfort—and if you want an effective strategy, you need all three of those things.
If we can learn to embrace these feelings instead of running from them, we can create bold, innovative strategies that lead us towards our goals as business owners and as organisations. The only way to do that is by being uncomfortable and exploring different options—not by trying to minimise those feelings typically supported by detailed spreadsheets that project costs and revenue far into the future (albeit these are a very important parts of the puzzle).
The problem is that the world is changing faster than ever before—and businesses need to change with it. Strategy should be an ongoing process that involves creative thinking, balanced action, flexibility, experimentation, and adaptation.
In looking at these key areas we can build the strategy and tactics that dominates our industry.
Creative thinking is about looking at problems from multiple angles or perspectives instead of just one way – which means thinking freely! It also involves being open-minded: not putting limitations on what you can achieve because you’re too busy sticking with what has worked before rather than trying something new (or different). Creative thinking allows us to take risks, and risk is needed for business growth.
Creative thinking is a skill that can be learned, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t mean just coming up with a crazy idea for your business. Instead, you should focus on developing a new perspective, and then applying that perspective to your business.
We can develop our creative skills in many ways, including:
- Visualising – practicing visualising all the possibilities in a given situation and identifying alternatives
- Challenging assumptions – challenging the way you and others think things should be done, allowing you to become more open-minded and better able to develop innovative ideas.
Balanced action is the ability to use logic aligned to your creative thinking to enable Innovation, all this without breaking the bank. Think of it like order and chaos, they both go hand-in-hand. We need order to continue to make money, but we need chaos (risk) in order to gain competitive advantage, innovation, and growth.
Businesses can fall into trouble if they over-think or over-plan their strategies using too much data and financial analysis. This can lead to a lack of innovation, while too much risk in a strategy can lead to the business losing sight of what it is trying to achieve and ending up with nothing at all.
So, what’s the solution? Well, it’s simple really; find a balance between these two extremes so that you can have both order and chaos working together in harmony!
If your strategy doesn’t scare you then you’re not taking enough risk. Alternatively. if you’re not leveraging the successes you’ve already got, you could be running down a rabbit hole with nothing to show.
The world is changing. The economy, the environment and technology are all changing. Your company needs to change with them and that means being flexible in your business strategy.
Unfortunately, many companies do not do this well. They have a set strategy, and they stick with it no matter what happens in the world around them. While they may be successful in the short term, they are unlikely to be able to adapt when things change unexpectedly or if there’s a major shift in how consumers behave.
This is why flexibility should be at the top of every business owner’s list when it comes to creating an effective business strategy.
A flexible company can adapt to an ever-changing business environment. They’ll have the ability to make necessary adjustments without getting trapped in a rigid mindset that’s unable to respond effectively when things go wrong.
Experimentation is an excellent way to evaluate new ideas like new markets or new advertising strategies before investing heavily in them. If something doesn’t work as well as expected, you’ll know not to invest resources there again—and if something does work well, you’ll know where to focus your efforts to grow and scale going forward.
Experimentation can help with everything from product development and marketing to customer service and sales processes. When you want to run experiments, it’s important to know the goal of your experiment up front. If you don’t, it can be hard to design an experiment that will give you meaningful results.
The most important thing to keep in mind when conducting your experiment is the kind of information you’re trying to gather. Are you trying to learn whether customers prefer one product over another? Or are you trying to find out if a new marketing strategy will work? Once you know what kind of information you’re looking for and what kind of results would be most useful, it’s time to think about how best to measure it.
If you’re trying to find out if customers prefer one product over another, for example, try running an experiment where half of the customers see only one type of button and half see another type. Then compare engagement rates between these two groups and see what the difference between them is.
Businesses must continually adapt to new conditions, which may mean changing their business model or the way they deliver services. It could also mean re-evaluating the products they offer customers.
When making changes within your organisation, it’s important to ensure that the changes will benefit your business over time. This is where adaptation comes into play.
Adaptation is all about making changes to an existing process or product so that it better meets the needs of its users. It often involves developing new solutions based on past experience and data analysis so that you can improve your product or service offerings. Adaptation can be used when introducing new products or services, improving customer satisfaction with existing offerings, or addressing problems with existing processes.
Adaptation can also help businesses stay competitive by helping them adapt faster than their competitors do—which is why it’s so important for companies not only to adapt but also to understand how they’re adapting and why they’re doing so.
The strategy process is all about taking the initiative and driving your business forward to success. It’s not a comfort-zone exercise—it’s about being creative and courageous, but also organised and structured. By holding every aspect of your business up against the light and examining how it fits into the bigger picture, you can make your strategy leap off the page and into reality.