If Washington Developed Your Strategy?
What happens when your team gets together to discuss strategy? Do you make clear decisions?
Earlier this week there was a great post blog post on Entrepreneur.com by Tim Berry. Tim is one of my favorite bloggers about entrepreneurship and startups. This post was titled 5 Simple Obvious Truths About Business Strategy. Simple? Yes. Obvious? Not to many. Well practiced? Absolutely not.
I think saying no to ideas is crucial to effective strategy development as Tim indicates. It is perhaps most team’s weakest area of decision making. Bill Cosby is quoted in Tim’s article:
â€œI donâ€™t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.â€
I love this quote. It is the central reason why team’s struggle, and it explains why most strategy development looks a lot like how Washington makes decisions. Management teams get together and start developing their strategy. Everyone has their pet issues. Instead of keep it focused, it is treated more like the process with which Congress treats the creation of a bill. It becomes negotiated strategy instead of decided strategy. The implicit agreement is “I’ll say yes to your pet project if you say yes to mine.” Then we end up with strategy soup – a little bit of everything, and a whole lot of nothing.
A team must be able to make decisions. And that is the core of developing a strategy.