Why do 70%+ of businesses fail? Why do your employees fail to meet their objectives? Why are your salespeople missing quota? It’s not that the ideas weren’t great, it’s not because your employees don’t work hard and it’s not because your salespeople aren’t making enough calls. Plain and simple it is because there isn’t an effective strategy in place and there isn’t a simple process for ensuring execution. 70% Failure Rate = MASSIVE FAIL.
At CFS we use a simple strategy developed by the military. In combat, soldiers utilized nothing more than a stick in the sand. By drawing a simple “Y” they developed a comprehensive strategy that was easily understood, established a clear plan of attack, and took into account the assets they had to carry out the plan. This simple strategy has been proven time and time again to be effective more than 70% of the time.
Every effective strategy has the following five components:
- Outcomes – What do we want to achieve?
- Assets – What do we have to achieve the outcome?
- Behaviors – What action will we take to achieve the outcome?
- Pitfalls – What distractions and inhibitors should we watch out for?
- Gut Check- Is this viable?
This strategy was popularized in the book Tribal Leadership by John King and Dave Logan.
Step 1: Outcomes – The top of the “Y”. Declare your desired outcome, your goal, and your objective. This could be to develop a comprehensive sales and marketing plan, to boost sales by 20% (call CFS if you want to do this!), or to meet quota for Q4. It is important to clearly define your goal so that if you were to meet someone on the street and tell them your goal they could see that it is straightforward, easily communicated, and attainable.
Step 2: Assets – The left stem of the “Y”. List the assets you currently have that will allow you to achieve your desired outcome. These could be personal traits, family support, trusted advisors, your networking group, having a superior product or service, or having an exceptional team. List the strengths you have, the resources available to you or the relationships you can foster.
Step 3: Behaviors – The right stem of the “Y”. List the behaviors and action you will take to achieve your goal. These could include attending networking meetings, being a guest speaker, writing engaging social media content, scheduling lunch, breakfast or coffee with referral partners, going to the gym, or recharging with family. The breadth and depth of the assets and behaviors really depends on the scope of the outcome. If the outcome is to have double digit 3 year growth then the assets and behaviors should be in line with that outcome. If the outcome is to reach quota for Q4 then the assets and behaviors for that limited timeframe should correspond.
Step 4: Pitfalls – List Pitfalls that will get in the way of achieving your outcome. Pitfalls are anything that you find yourself doing that distracts you from doing the behaviors you listed to achieve your outcome. It is important to write these down and share them with your team so that not only can they recognize when you have lost sight of the prize, but so that you can anticipate and acknowledge what has gotten in the way in the past.
Step 5: Gut Check – The final step is to do a gut check and determine if you have an “unlocked strategy.” In order to have an “unlocked strategy” ask yourself: Do I have enough assets to support achieving the outcome? Do I have the appropriate behaviors to support the assets and the appropriate assets to support the behaviors? Do I have the right behaviors to support achieving the outcome? If your answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions, you have a “locked strategy” and you must either revise the assets and/or the behaviors you will execute in order to unlock your strategy.
Share your strategy with family, friends, colleagues and trusted advisors. Ask what is missing, how to improve the strategy and if they would like to be involved.
By using this approach you will nearly triple your success rate from 30% to 70%+ overnight. We encourage you to share your success stories in using the Strategy Map!