How to leverage your Strategy to achieve EXTREME growth
When you start a company you envision it having an impact on the world. Additionally, some people picture there being teams of people employed at a company that is solving lots of problems in the world (i.e. Amazon). Early stage companies often have an initial goal that has afforded them to get started on their vision in pursuit of growth. Creating a cancer therapy or building a diagnostic that is used to point to treatments are great examples of these types of goals. To get funding founders often have to describe their goals in the market and many of the companies that we see that are getting funding have refined this story. However, having a goal or wish is not a strategy.
If you want to fuel extreme growth there are a few key components that must be in place. The initial component is to figure out what customers will pay for. The second component is to put in place a broader sense of what is happening in the market against where you want to be. The last component is to outline what you are doing today, tomorrow and all year that will build towards your strategy.
Wickman & Bouwer provide some great tools in “What the heck is EOS?” for outlining your vision and then the steps to gain traction against that vision. In the Vision/Traction Organizer they first provide a place where you can capture your core values, marketing strategy, short, and long term plans.
Once you complete the first page of the organizer you can move into setting goals for this year, rocks (the things that have to get done), and issues.
Now putting a plan like this in place is not easy. Nor should it be an exercise completed by one person. Building your overall strategy is something that should be structured and completed by a team of contributors.
There are two reasons for this:
You do not want to implement something that has not been well thought out.
You want it to be a shared vision among the individuals in your organization. When we put our energy into creating a vision it helps leaders form that foundational acceptance that this is mine.
My one other bit of guidance is not to get caught up in the semantics of planning or the words that get in the way of getting something on paper. Having your plan on paper will allow everyone to work through the wording and semantics later.
Once you are done with putting your plan on paper the vision portion needs to be communicated to the entire company. The traction portion needs to be lived by and tracked for progress regularly at your daily/weekly meetings.
Additionally, you need a plan to revisit both pages in this document on a regular basis. The maximum amount of time for any organization regardless of size is annually. If your business is moving fast maybe you should visit it monthly or quarterly to adjust if needed. You may also find that you need to add in additional components like shifts in the market or network effects that occur as a result of implementing your strategy.
Often in business we describe this flywheel effect that happens when you start completing things that move toward your future state. Extreme growth can be achieved by taking clear steps that move you towards where you want to be in the future. Tools like the vision/traction organizer provide you a view of what needs to be done. The next step takes leadership and execution. Getting the daily tasks done are key, completing (placing) your rocks and getting those big things done are critical and lastly clearing out your issues are important.
Do you have a strategy that is more than a goal or a wish? Does it consider your core values, the market, where you want to go long-term and anything that will block you from getting there?
Can you clearly outline what you need to do today so that at the end of the year your 1 year step toward your strategy will be met?