One of the biggest challenges I see for business and marketing leaders today is finding the time to be strategic in their actions. There are always so many fires to put out and critical “to do’s” that the days and weeks seem to just slip by.
The risk in not being strategic is that no progress is made or, worst case, revenue declines. What can happen, over time, is work processes become stale and everyone acts “the same as always.” This stagnation takes its toll on revenues as well as employee morale.
Here are three reasons why it’s critical to be strategic right now.
- If you’re putting out fires all day, you’re not being strategic or moving forward
The biggest obstacle I see to current marketing and business leaders is being “in” their business. When your head is down and you’re doing the work, you can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s not until you rise above the daily tasks and concerns and start to work “on” the business that real change and progress can be made. And working “on” the business means being strategic. Here are a few examples of strategic thinking:
- How your best client or customers are making decisions and buying these days? In a post-pandemic world, more sales research (before the sales call) is moving online. Is your websiter providing the information needed for this?
- How your business is approaching sustainability? Both potential clients and the best employees want to be involved with an organization that is “doing the right thing” about their footprint in the environment. (This is especially true of potential new hires, also; they’re checking out your website with sustainability in mind.)
- How is your organization approaching diversity? That applies to everything from leadership roles to employee training to hiring.
If your head is down in the business and you don’t have the bandwidth or time to think about these issues, it can lead to a backward decline before you even realize it.
2) Doing the same thing over and over again doesn’t create “better” results
If everyone (including marketing and sales) continues to operate the same way day after day, month after month, year after year, and there are no significant changes, the business can’t leap forward.
Millennials, as a demographic, can be a great asset when it comes to identifying internal processes that can be done differently. Are you using them to help with this? Often, they see where old ways of doing things are inefficient or can be automated, or done differently (for example, marketing automation). When these activities are identified, younger employees can also be great resources for finding new ways to do things and implementing those changes.
The best way to move forward in significant ways and leapfrog your results is to think critically about how you’re doing things now.
3) If you’re not ahead – you’re behind
Because the world is changing at such a rapid pace, if you’re not in front of the changes happening in your industry or job functions, you’ll be lagging behind very soon. The new word now is AI – are you on top of it? Are you using it in your marketing?
My favorite expression around this is that “the last buggy-whip company was probably the best buggy-whip company” – but once we shifted from horse-drawn carriages to cars with engines, they were no longer relevant.
Don’t let this happen to your organization. It’s critical to keep up with the digital transformations happening in every industry and every function of an organization.
Do you fall into any of the examples I’ve listed here? If you’re not able to be strategic, for a variety of reasons, the constantly shifting landscape of the economy will affect your organization. Let’s talk about how I can help you be strategic in this environment.