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Strategy container defines resources–maps a path

22 Sep 16
Michelle Cubas
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Strategy is a powerful process. Here are several observations about strategy after serving and coaching thousands of clients:

I find many confuse strategy, vision, objectives, and goals. Defining terms is one of the first steps clients and I take together.

Clients have an expectation for the results they want to achieve. However, there may be a gap between the realism of the expectation and the “thinking” about how to get there. Here’s where strategy comes in.

Strategy is knowing where you are going.

Cheshire Cat said to Alice in Wonderland—”How can you be lost when you don’t know where you’re going? What difference does it make?” Let’s explore the difference here.

Consider these ideas:

  • Strategy is a container. It holds all the details to execute your vision.
  • Think of strategy as a treasure map, pointing us in a direction, posting markers along the path so we always have a place to return.
  • Your strategy is a scaffold to hang and connect segments that must meet to accomplish the goals.
  • A strategy is a flowing, sequential plan. It can show blockages that require correction.
  • The path is flexible enough to allow alternative routes depending on resources.
  • We can see the entire picture (vision) as a snapshot. This can spark more imagination and deliver an expanded view that we hadn’t considered before—more options!

First, strategy points to a clear vision to achieve.

The process requires activation of your imagination, and this may reveal another gap often created by fear.

Fear is a common cause of a gap filled with apprehension of rejection or unworthiness. Here is where you STOP the doubts, take a deep breath, and puncture the veil of uncertainty!

Strategy clears the way . . .

  • You’ve cleared the way, so it’s full steam ahead because we know in what direction we’re going. Lifting the fog of uncertainty renews energy and commitment that comes from an inner knowing, confidence, that we’re on the right track. We can see it!
  • We can better plan and allocate resources, because we have a realistic measure of what it will take to reach the end result.
  • The plan defines who must be on our team and what expertise will be the best fit to achieve our vision.

Consider these easy strategy steps to complete the portrait:

  • Create targets to aim at and continue to implement, monitor, and adjust going forward. In that way, nothing gets too ahead of the projections.
  • Set realistic time frames. Identify where there is room to adjust so down-the-line elements aren’t thrown off production or launch.
  • Craft the alignment of your objectives and goals. “Bake in” at least one option for a fall- back position.
  • Test your resources hypotheses—timing (duration),  quality standards, money.
  • Understand what milestones measure your progress.
  • Ask for objective input since we can be too close to a project; yes, it’s personal.

An easy formula to capture your strategy . . .
Rev. Robert Schuller, author of Possibility Thinking, said about testing an idea—
“Find it, Form it, Firm it, and Frame it!” Let’s do it!

How will you use these ideas next time?

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