November is the perfect month to start thinking about next year’s strategic objectives. If you wait until December or January, your strategy will take a backseat to the instant gratification tactics offer.
Similarly, if you’ve had a really good year, you and those in your change of command will be tempted to rest on your laurels. Instead, take the time this month to answer these questions:
- Always start any strategic discussion with a keen eye on the customer.
- Who are our best customers, and what will they expect of us this year?
- What do we need to do to ensure we keep them?
- What new products or services will they need?
- What’s our winning move for acquiring new customers?
- What are our financial objectives for 2020?
- Cost savings?
- Cash flow?
- What event might put these at risk?
- What have our competitors been up to?
- What scares us most about the year ahead?
- What one or two things could a competitor do to nail us?
- What new products or technologies could they launch to hurt us?
- What M & A deal would knock us off our feet?
- What internal processes and technology do we need to change or acquire?
- Exactly how will all major stakeholders benefit from this strategy?
- How does this strategy leverage the company’s competitive advantage?
- How does our driving force distinguish us from the competition?
- What is our top priority for leveraging our unique advantage?
- What talent will we need to add to meet these objectives?
Most companies don’t have trouble understanding how to run fast. Successful organizations realize that running fast is only part of the strategy. Leaders in these companies realize that making decisions about what race to enter is equally important. In the next few weeks, decide which 2020 races you’ll enter-and win.