Would you like to get more benefit, for a longer time, from all the hard work you put into your strategic plans? Do you want to increase the shelf life of your business strategy? If your answer is yes, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. How long ago did you finalize your business plan?
  2. How far along is the execution of your business plan? Are you on track with all the big projects you planned to undertake? Have some of them fallen by the wayside or people lost interest?
  3. If your business plan is failing, is that because…
    • Sales are not coming in?
    • The plan itself is not relevant any more?
    • Things in your industry changed so much in such a short time that your whole plan is out of date?
    • You waited too long to start executing your plans?

Always Put Your Customers First

These questions are hidden in many of my conversations with CEOs. But invariably they will comment that they are looking inwards to resurrect their business plans. But making changes to your organisational structure and getting indirect training on leadership and management won’t help with execution in the next month.

These activities have lots of value, yes, but maybe at a different time.

We are in a world that is changing so rapidly that only one thing should matter: sustainable revenue. And that requires a relentless focus on customers, your only source of revenue.

This requires the whole company – every single person and department – to focus on driving profitable sales of your products and services. The ability to continually create value to third parties, in the short, medium and long term, should be the CEO’s single biggest concern. It is okay to let operational matters slide a little bit. Take a few weeks or months and refocus all your efforts on the machine that is producing value for customers. Evaluate everything in your business against this customer focus.

Fight the urge to get bogged down in the minutiae of running a business. Relentlessly focus your own attention, and that of your team, to creating value for the people outside your company who are willing to pay for it. Have plans ready for the short, medium and long term. And then look internally to see what needs to be in place to make all this value creation happen.

Are you ready to build a future-ready company?

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