Strategy – (Not) Using A Template
The most challenging part of planning in business is reviewing our own assumptions.
We take a lot for granted about our business and we struggle to examine our situations in detail or see them from new points of view.
This is human.
What is a business leader to do?
Templates to the rescue: something with direction, formatting, and clear instructions. Perfect for writing a strategy, right?
Strategy is a story
Strategy is not a list of goals. Those are … well … goals.
Strategy is also not a slogan or tagline. It’s not a flashy sounding sentence you can get printed on a coffee mug.
Strategy is not an aspiration; it is not something you wish you were or hope to achieve.
A strategy is long. It tells a story.
A strategy is long. It tells a story. It includes goals, and incentives, and values, and more. And writing your strategy should be ever so slightly painful, as you examine your resources and plans and challenge your assumptions.
But there are so many templates
Dozens. Nay, hundreds, probably.
Templates serve a purpose and are a fine starting point.
Brainstorming and questioning your answers should be part of strategy writing. To do that, you don’t want to start with a blank page.
So don’t be afraid to pick up a standard template to get started. Use this as a guide to the discussion and to make sure you leave nothing out. Then build your own format.
Don’t shape your decisions to fit the template, do it the other way around.
If someone tries to sell you a strategy template, run away.