Keys to a Winning Strategy

As we start the new year, many executives may be wishing to rethink their strategy, especially in a recession year. What matters most? What should you focus on?  You may even be asking these questions as an individual.  I know I do.  There are so many levers to pull and distract us.  But what is strategy really?  It is not just the large-scale initiatives of creating a new product line or rebranding (although these may be components of your execution).

“Strategy is simply the definition of the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.”

“Where you want to be”.  This is the key.  Every busy executive facesdefining this in their business operations.  How to use resources (people, technology, budget and time a.k.a. levers) to best meet the objectives of the organization while maintaining profitability.  Change is our constant.  Whether faced with customer demands, regulatory change or audits, businesses need strategies to address these changes and gaps.  A McKinsey study showed that 70{87efac60452defd574b6639ec0338703e8befd70531d85ef90cf83fcc3d71bb5} of change/strategic initiatives failed this task. What steps are you using in your business currently? Do you believe your action plan is a success?

To help you avoid the pitfalls of failure I have defined the 5-keys to a winning strategy based on my 20 years of experience and research.  I have detailed them in an e-book, but here are the highlights:

  • Solve a problem – Identify your WHY.There is no strategy unless you can define the problem you are solving. Be prepared to articulate your “why”. It must make sense to you, your employees, and your customers.  The good old saying “What’s in it for me?” is another way of thinking of this.
  • Look outward – Listen to your key stakeholders and competitors and gain perspective fromothers outside of your organization. Good strategists know that this is important to be able to understand the forces at play and helps you to focus on key areas.
  • Culture is key – Don’t ignore your organization’s needs and history. Look at what you havedone before and what worked or didn’t. Prepare your culture for change. Your organization can have the best strategy but if the culture is not ready for change it will suffer major challenges.
  • Be inclusive and diverse – The strategy should consider as many parts of your organization as possible. Don’t think that the same executives should be the only voice. Without a diverse perspective, your strategy would be one-sided and not robust. Requesting input from all helps withdeveloping a healthy culture as well.
  • Measure – If you can’t measure you will not know how far you have come or if youhave reached the other side of the gap. You need to know how much progress has been made and adjust.  It’s an opportunity to celebrate the wins as well.


In the next few weeks, I will break down each of these steps in more detail so look out for more!  I will also share the link to the free e-book then.


Leave me a note to share your thoughts.  You can also connect with me to discuss further.