True Sustainability!

Strategic thinking and planning is not as complicated as it can be made out to be,  nor as easy as one can undermine it to be. The more strategy development workshops I facilitate, the more I am no longer amazed at how businesses take what they do for granted and do not really know how to articulate what they do. Nor have the discipline to continually ask themselves the difficult questions about what space they occupy, the value they add and whether the need that they are meeting today will continue to provide revenue 3 or 20 years from now noting the changes happening around them.

Regardless of their size. Their sophistication. Clients get defensive. See you as the enemy for asking such basic questions. Instead of rattling models and theories so that they can plot complicated graphs. Not deal with such simple questions. Worst still. How dare you not accept the first answer that comes from their lips. Most responses are so academic. Can’t deal. So I am not shocked that we see the downfalls of Nokia. Kodak. Blackberry. And numerous companies. Not to mention the stats about how few new companies survive beyond Year 3. It is not always about resources.The lack of defining your space clearly can make or break your business. Such shortcomings are very costly. 

When you have more than one person in any organisation, it is critical that everybody, particularly management, must be able to answer without effort: What business are we in? Where are we taking this business over time in view of the changes that are happening with our clients & in view of how the environment is impacting our clients or their businesses. The changing trends in the world at large. Answering these questions helps you set the direction for the company over the long term. To craft a plan that focuses your day to day activities and decisions on the actions that really count. Help you to determine whether the mission and vision you are working towards clearly capture the direction, your raison d’ètre and energises everyone in the organisation to be inspired to jump out of bed everyday. To come to work for more than just a paycheque.

It is inspiring to work with clients that are willing to ask the hard questions and chart a path that will increase their chances of being around for a long time to come even if it can mean destroying the business you have today in order to create a business that will survive into the future. That is the true definition of Sustainability!


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