There are certain business terms that are used to mean such a wide range of things. Terms like mission, vision, strategy, goals and objectives all come immediately to mind. These inconsistencies can lead to confusion and lack of clarity.
So when we tackle something like “strategy,” it is vitally important for us to all have the same understanding of how we will define the term for our use. It doesn’t mean others outside Daxko will agree with how we define it or that our approach is the right one, but it does mean that all of us at Daxko need to use the same definition and context.
When we talk strategy at Daxko, here’s how we put it into practice and what we’ve learned over the years:
- For us, going through a formal strategy process needs to happen every three years. We just completed our latest round, which will take us through 2017.
- We’ve learned that it needs to be regularly reviewed and validated. It can’t be a one-time event.
- Strategy statements are for internal use. They are not marketing pieces.
- A strategy statement is best if it’s short and memorable. We try to keep ours to around 40 words. Our latest one is 44, so pretty close.
- We’ve learned that even 40 words…or 44…can be hard to remember, so we developed a 9-word strategy “headline.” Think of it as a theme or rallying cry. Here it is: “Daxko will empower our customers to engage more people.”
- At its core, strategy needs to answer 3 questions: Where will we play? How will we win? How will we keep score?
- Strategy tells you what you will do, but just as importantly, it should tell you what you will NOT do.
- Finally, strategy is not magic. It still requires smart people to make informed decisions, maintain focus and exhibit determination.