Got Spring Fever? Use it to Drive Strategy
Finally! It’s April. Welcome warmer temperatures and time outdoors. For most of us, this winter has been especially challenging. Exceptionally severe and variable weather has also been disruptive for business, even in places that are accustomed to it. Meetings postponed; colleagues inaccessible; technology powered down; decisions delayed; and deadlines missed. All of these create a sense of urgency to make up lost time – something that can never really be accomplished. In fact, trying to ‘cram it all in’ rarely works. It’s like sitting on your suitcase just to make it close; something always pops open again.
The same is true for business. Simply pressing ahead, with eyes to the ground and fingers to the keyboard, may help in the near-term, yet is often done at the expense of longer-term, strategic objectives.
Instead, catch spring fever and use it to drive your business forward. Here’s how:
1. Scan your environment – Trees are budding. Flowers are blooming.
Consider: What’s happening in your market?
Assess what your competitors are doing. Hear what your customers are saying. Look for new opportunities or challenges. Use these to set the context for understanding their implications for your strategy.
2. Take stock of where you are – Step outside and smell the roses – or check the cherry blossoms. Trees and plants suffered from recurring freeze-thaw; not everything fared well this winter.
Ask: What looks good and what could use improvement?
Consider the triggers and milestones you included in your strategic dashboard. View these in the context of your new environment to update your priorities. Identify areas where you must regroup, leap frog over, or replan entirely.
3. Ignite your strategy – Spring is a great time to get out and get moving again. Now is the time to nurture a select few things so that they are ready for the heat of summer.
Decide: Where do we focus now?
Some of the seeds you planted last fall or while setting objectives haven’t taken root or simply could not survive the disruptions. Let them go. Reshape or retool other things to ensure they thrive this spring.
The key to igniting your strategy lies not in simply pressing forward. Instead, confirm the destination, then revisit your activities and approach to assure you’re on the right path. Finally, reset your triggers and milestones to monitor progress.
In short: catch – and encourage – Spring Fever!