11 Principles for a Stronger Strategy

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The Strategy BookI recently finished reading The Strategy Book by Max McKeown. Max is an author, consultant and speaker. He has an MBA and a PhD from the Warwick Business School.

These are just and handful of the highlights from my reading. You could view these as…

11 Principles for a Stronger Strategy

  1. Get perspective before you plan. “If you start the planning before thinking, you can end up with the wrong solution to the right problem. Or perhaps the right solution to the wrong problem.”
  2. Strategy isn’t just about planning. “Successful organizations try to have a healthy balance between thinking, planning and doing.”
  3. You’ll certainly experience uncertainty. “You can’t wait for uncertainty to disappear but you can choose to create certainty of purpose and direction.”
  4. Don’t wait for perfect. “The important thing is to be able to clarify the situation so that the best (not perfect) decision can be made.”
  5. It’s dangerous to focus only on getter better at what you currently do. “Getting the day-to-day work done may turn out to be a lot less important to you and your company [or church]than it seems today. There may be dangers in the bigger picture that will make what you are doing a waste of time.”
  6. Strategy is a continuous process, not a one-time event. “Strategy isn’t something you do once and then follow forever. If you want to grow you’re going to need to keep looking at your strategy to see if still fits. And event if it fits you’ll need to figure out new actions that keep the strategy working as you grow.”
  7. Some disunity is good. “You need just enough disunity for progress — too much unity and there are no new ideas, no criticism and no improvement; too much disunity and there is never any action because people can’t agree for long enough to get anything done.”
  8. Yesterday’s solutions could create tomorrow’s problems. “It is easy to assume that whatever you did to solve the last growth problem will be the answer to solving the next growth problem. The reverse is often true. For example, the challenges of growth require structure and process, but the challenges of structure require creativity and autonomy.”
  9. Strategy should involve all teams and functions. “Ideally, the strategy process should engage the hearts and minds of the whole company continually throughout the year.”
  10. Invest in outside facilitation. “Consider investing in expert facilitation. It’s worth paying for people who know what they are doing. This is the future of the business [or church]and so should be valuable.” // Amen!
  11. Strategy is pointless without action. “You need to be able to translate your strategy into actions, tasks and projects.”

These principles are embraced in the StratOp (Strategic Operating Plan) process our team facilitates. Let’s talk about how we can help you become more intentional about your next steps.

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About Author

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.

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