Over the last six weeks, I introduced my Ebook 12 Steps to Business Transformation and I defined the first 6 of the 12 transformational steps. This week we are going to talk about the Strategy Summary.
Completing the Strategy Summary for your business is step 7 in my new Ebook “12 Steps to Business Transformation.”
The Strategy Summary is a tool that records your entire organization’s vision, strategy, goals and key business metrics in one easy to use and easy to communicate form. Basically, you are recording the first six steps of the 12 step business transformation into one powerful tool.
12 Steps to Business Transformation
12 Steps to Business Transformation is founded on a simple business model and describes the 12 steps required to implement and execute on the model. The whole model is summarized in the Thinking Business Blueprint shown below. And, as mentioned above, the seventh step in the Blueprint is to document the first 6 of the 12 steps into the Strategy Summary document.
It can be a real challenge to compile this critical information for your business into a clear, concise and useable format. This is something I struggled with for quite a while!
A few years ago I had a bit of an epiphany. I took some ideas on focus from Les Hewitt, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen and some ideas on business strategy from Rich Horwath. I combined these ideas and came up with a tool that summarizes all the critical aspects of a complete business strategy and plan onto one powerful page.
The tool is a carefully formatted Excel based file that allows the user to summarize the following aspects of their business:
- State of the Market – what are you seeing in the marketplace for upcoming business, market upswings, downturns, possible acquisitions or mergers, legislation changes, etc.
- Market Trends – are there trends in the market that will affect your business and what opportunities or threats do they present?
- Business Overview – how is your business looking from all perspectives (operations, sales, marketing, HR, people trends, tools, processes, finance, etc.)? Also summarize what projects or initiatives are planned or underway?
- SWOT Summary – list the major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from the SWOT exercise
- Top Five Customer Summary – list your top 5 customers sorted by revenue and/or profit
- Marketplace Differentiators – what factors are differentiating your business in the marketplace and giving you a true competitive advantage
- High Level Strategy – Based on your SWOT and everything recorded on the sheet so far, what is your high level strategy for your business
- Critical Success Factors – what are the critical success factors for your business that clearly must be achieved to be successful?
- Strategic Investment Areas – where do you need to strategically spend money this year to increase production, proficiency, sales, infrastructure, etc. in order to meet your high level strategy
- Key Metrics – what key metrics need to be measured, recorded and analyzed to ensure the business is meeting goals, working the strategy and achieving the mission
- Vision/Mission/Values – what is your vision, mission and value statements for your business
- Major Goals 1 to 6 – what are the major SMART goals that have been set that are needed to achieve your strategy and drive towards the mission and vision. This includes specific Objectives, Strategies and Actions for each major goal.
And just like that, your critical business aspects are summarized into one easy to read and easy to communicate form!
Why is the Strategy Summary step so important for a business?
- The Strategy Summary tool documents the most critical aspects of your business in a concise and easy to read format. Because of this, it is easy to communicate to the whole organization and becomes the de facto standard for the whole company to use to track performance.
- When the tool is updated and continuously referred to by the organization’s leaders, the rest of the organization will buy into the tool and, more importantly, they will buy into the vision, mission and goals of the organization. This will build momentum and drive the organization towards achieving its most important objectives.
Don’t let your investment of time, money and effort for your training, off-sites, workshops and strategy sessions go to waste. Take the time to complete steps one through six of the business transformation process and document it into the Strategy Summary tool.
Establish this tool as a company standard and leverage it to communicate the most important aspects of your business to the whole organization!
“There is no magic power in having a dream. You can’t just wait for it. You have to work for it. And you need to have a strategy that gives direction and focus to that work.” John C. Maxwell
Leave a comment below on how you communicate your strategy.
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