Strategic Clarity and Why You Can’t Grow Without It
Without an effective strategy, you can feel lost. You have this sense of thrashing around — trying things, running in multiple directions, and just not gaining traction.
And if you’re feeling this way, just imagine how disconcerting it is for the rest of your organization.
Top to bottom, the symptoms of a lack of strategy are acute. People tend to runoff on their own. They put their needs and interests first, and that breeds a host of problems:
- Poor communication
- Poor delegation
- Lack of direction
- Acceptance of poor performance and missed targets
- Politicking, bureaucracy and fiefdoms
- Disengagement (people working for the weekend)
Left unchecked, these symptoms can become systemic business problems:
- Declining sales
- Slowing or plateauing growth
- Low profitability
It’s not pretty, and it is avoidable.
Strategic Clarity Drives Results
When everyone on your team clearly knows where they are going and how they’ll get there, you’ve got a strategy.
But how you create a strategy isn’t so straightforward. If achieving clarity was easy, no one would ever feel lost.
Achieving Strategic Clarity — being able to clearly articulate your brand strategy and positioning so everyone gets it, inside and out — is a process. You’ve got to work at it to gain clarity.
I guide my clients constantly to answer three questions:
- What do you want?
- Where will you play?
- How will you win?
This is the starting point of Strategic Clarity, and it becomes the lens to position your brand.
When you define the rules of the game (your game), you gain clarity. That’s powerful. Every department becomes empowered to advance the organization:
- Sales can focus on acquiring the right customers.
- Marketing can focus on creating content and campaigns that amplify the right messages.
- Operations can focus on building the right products and services at the right price at the right time.
- Leadership can focus on making the right investments in people, systems, and growth.
It frees the organization. Strategic Clarity shows people where to focus their time and resources, and that’s liberating.
Your job becomes so much more fun and rewarding when you know how you can make an impact — especially when you’re operating in a rapidly changing marketplace.
See the Forest for the Trees
The process of achieving Strategic Clarity can be elusive for many organizations. You know your business. You know your customers, competitors, and the opportunities. And that is the problem. You know too much!
When you’re working on the problem for too long, it’s hard to see what’s really going on. You can’t see the strategy because you’re too close to it. It’s like the metaphor, you can’t see the forest for the trees. And often, you need external eyes and guidance to create a strategy.
Strategic Clarity is the most important and effective way I help my clients advance their brands. When you gain clarity, you can move forward rapidly.
Are you struggling with Strategic Clarity? I can help you. The process takes 6 to 8 weeks. Each week you will work through a set of strategic exercises that help to challenge assumptions and gain clarity. At the end of the process you will achieve Strategic Clarity, and be able to define your brand strategy and positioning on a page or two.
This article first appeared on Sticky Branding.
Jeremy Miller is a brand strategist and bestselling author of Sticky Branding and Brand New Name. Over the past decade, Jeremy and the Sticky Branding team have profiled and interviewed hundreds of companies across dozens of industries to uncover how companies grow Sticky Brands. Jeremy shares his expertise as a writer, consultant, and keynote speaker. His blend of humor, stories, and actionable ideas will inspire you to innovate and grow your business and brand. For more information visit www.StickyBranding.com. Connect with Jeremy on social media: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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