Whether it’s on the ball field or in the boardroom, every team and every business out there spends a lot of time talking about strategy.
Your strategy in reaching the consumer.
Your strategy in developing new products.
Your strategy in reducing overhead and costs.
Your strategy in designing and innovating.
Your strategy in leadership…communication….culture.
There are a million conversations to have surrounding strategy, and I can tell you that entrepreneurs are strategizing 100% of the time. Never-ending and totally engaging. Good companies are always looking at strategy through different lens and with a variety of viewpoints. In my opinion, that is just good practice.
But…just like everything in life, you have to maintain some sense of balance and control with the time and attention you give to strategizing. It is very easy to get caught in the black hole of strategizing. That is when you spend all your time thinking and talking, but never get the chance to execute your ideas. It is the paralysis by analysis conflict. To me, sometimes strategy can be like the warm comfortable bed you sleep in. It is tough to get up. To get out. To take action. So you just chill out there and stay in your comfort zone. Nothing risked, nothing lost.
However, the reality is that strategy without execution counts for nothing. You can write up every play you want, call out the x’s and o’s until the cows come home. But eventually you have to play the game, take the shot, and toss the ball. There comes a time when even the greatest strategists has to turn thought into action.
So, I want push you to consider whether you are over-strategizing and under-executing. Because a plan without dedicated action is nothing more than a hope or a dream. Have you ever taken the time to consider just how much time you and your company spends on strategizing vs. execution? If not, start now. Right now! The first step in any successful strategy is actually taking the first steps.
Strategy continues to change and evolve over time. That means you will never find the perfect time to start executing your strategy. There will always be the “one more thing” mentality. So, the better practice is to start moving in the right direction and adjust along the way. Course correct. Don’t settle or get overly attached to your original gameplan.
As new pieces of info arise, be the leader willing to change your strategy and plan, even if it contradicts the original strategy. That type of flexibility can make a huge difference in the success or failure of your strategy. It is a dangerous practice to simply put your head down and just plow ahead because it is your plan and its set in stone.
So move forward with a two important concepts in mind:
1. Strategy is crucial to success. But it is ever-changing, and the best strategists are aware, flexible, and never tied into their original plan.
2. Strategy without action is useless. You eventually have to put the rubber to the road and test your strategy out.
These are pretty simple and straightforward. Make time to strategize, but don’t ever sacrifice execution for it. I have found that execution of a good strategy is more important than having the ‘perfect’ strategy. Sure, make your fundamental goals clear to everyone around you. Plan around those, and don’t stray far from the fundamental purpose of your gameplan. But don’t sit around waiting for the perfect strategy to present itself. You might be waiting for longer than you think and in the meantime your opportunity will pass you by. Just start!