COVID-19, and the resulting global economic downturn, has disrupted businesses and left leaders questioning where their focus should be: “How can we look ahead at long term strategy and business growth when there are unprecedented changes and new obstacles arising each day?”
The short answer – you don’t have to. What is most important is that you understand where you are on the strategy curve and have a clear focus that reflects that position.
Survival: Getting through the day-to-day (reactive)
The world is changing daily (hourly even!) and most businesses have had to make rapid adjustments. Quick thinking and real-time decision making are vital and during this phase a reactive approach will enable you to focus on the immediate pressures to the business.
When are you ready to move to the next stage?
There are no immediate issues that could cripple or overwhelm the business and the risk of not dealing with today is no longer the number one risk.
Stabilise: Planting the seeds for growth (reactive / proactive)
There will be occasional fires to put out, but you have put the processes and structures in place that will allow you to begin planning for the month ahead. What parts of your pre-crisis business can you bring back and which adjustments might need to stay as they are for now?
When are you ready to move onto the next phase?
You have a clear idea of what opportunities are ahead and you are confident that the business has the capacity and capability to change.
Innovation: Looking Ahead (proactive/ opportunity)
Your business is growing. Now is the time to proactively start strategically planning 6-12 months into the future. Understand the changes the world has undergone and what opportunity they represent for your organisation.
Understanding where you are on the Strategy Focus Curve and being comfortable with that position will give you focus, ultimately get you and your business back into a strategic growth phase.
Learn more about the Strategy Focus Curve from Founder & Director Phil Allison in this video (feel free to share with other leaders you feel might find value in it):