When building strategy there’s a tendency to strive for perfection, to build the ultimate strategic road map that can handle any pothole. In my experience, perfect strategy doesn’t exist. Things change quickly in business and even the most thoughtful strategic process is rarely relevant two quarters in.
The value of strategy work is the process itself. Thinking about your business from a “high level” isolates key areas of focus, strengths and weaknesses that may not have been apparent. Inevitably those “areas of focus” become the key thrusts of your strategy.
Tactical work is not strategic work. Values, purpose and vision should be at the heart of any strategic discussion. Key metrics, goals and deadlines are details that can be hammered out in the office.
Recently, the executive from Wolfgang escaped for a strategic retreat. With no specific outcomes, only some topics for discussion, our “Landing on the Moon” retreat was different from the past and at first, it felt a little weird.
We worked hard fighting the urge to get micro (old habits die hard). “We’ll figure that out later” was a popular refrain. By the end, we isolated four “key thrusts” for Wolfgang. Four, big picture items that require diligent focus as we sink our teeth into building a $100,000,000 company.
In my mind, the lack of “details” forced the clarity and alignment that was missing from our past retreats. An initial test of our retreat outcomes was our staff’s response, the resounding, “makes sense, I get it” was a good sign.
Now we can talk details.