by Michael Cowen on 14/06/12 at 8:13 am
Every entrepreneur has a vision, a dream, and a desire to start something. This is where it all begins, and you work day and night to bring it to reality.
Yet, as entrepreneurs, we inevitably get caught up in the details we face every day. It is easy to lose sight of what’s going on and allow the vision to get a bit blurry.
There are many reasons for this, and here are some of the key culprits:
- It’s fake. Many strategic documents are not about the vision but rather designed for a bank or for some other specific purpose. In other words, a complete waste of time and not really worth the paper it’s written on.
- Lack of clarity. A strategic document requires a depth of thinking, insight and understanding. Yet all too often, not enough focus and forward thinking is applied.
- Lack of measurability. If you have thought things through, looked at the scenarios, you should be able to measure the plan against tangible goals. Commonly, this does not happen.
- Confusion. The strategic document is useless if no-one understands it. The vision – and how to achieve the vision – really needs to be filtered down through the business; even if it is for just three people.
- Complexity. Strategic documents tend to be complicated, trying to cover every angle possible. Invariably, this creates a ton of complexity that is distracting and irrelevant.
- Change. As entrepreneurs we need to adapt to changing market environments as well as internal challenges. You cannot review a document every year in this type of system. It quickly gets out of date. The document needs to be reviewed, discussed and updated more frequently – perhaps every 3 months.
As entrepreneurs we all understand these problems. My advice: focus that overwhelming ‘to-do’ list you face on a daily basis, and take a break to think things through. A disciplined mind and a daily pause will stand you in good stead to keep things on track.
Ideate readers: remember to enter the Struik competition to win your copy of Ian Mann’s essential business strategy book: Strategy That Works (click here to find out more)
After being seriously bored with the traditional marketing, Michael Cowen become an entrepreneur and partner in an organisational culture and a brand culture and archetype company. Michael Cowen is now the co-founder of No Picket Fence and the Strategic Director of BrandSocial. He occasionally tweets on Twitter View more articles by Michael Cowen.