Thursday, November 01, 2007

Alan Weiss and Bill Ringle Discuss Strategy

Alan Weiss, president of Summit Consulting and known as the 'Million Dollar Consultant', has been a friend, colleague, and mentor to me for the past 10 years or so.

This past weekend, about 100 of the sharpest consulting minds from across the United States and Canada gathered for a retreat on business strategy in Providence, RI. Seeing old friends and making new ones made it a doubly-rewarding experience.

Here are 7 points I'd like to share with you from the seminar to help you build a stronger business:
  1. Being excellent at what you do is the foundation for both business and personal growth.
  2. Strategy and planning are entirely different, and blurring this distinction can be deadly to a business because planning is a bottom-up approach while strategy is a top-down approach.
  3. Strategy fails at execution, not on the drawing board.
  4. Strategy work is periodic and situational, not continuous. Once it is set, let it operate.
  5. Minimizing or avoiding risk has it's place, but to advance and achieve growth it's necessary to take prudent risks.
  6. Executives commonly use strategy to instantiate ambiguity. Instead, absorb the ambiguity and create tangible accountabilities for those involved.
  7. You learn the most and at a faster rate when you make a commitment. Commit to a strategy and you'll see very quickly how it impacts decisions. Waffle, meander, and prevaricate and you'll never really know which direction is forward.

Lastly, a favorite quote from George Santayana that's germane to the discussion:
A fanatic is someone who redoubles his efforts after losing sight of his goals.

As you build a stronger business, take the time not only to build a solid strategy, but to really use it as a decision-making framework.

No comments: