If we lived in a perfect world, my next few statements would never need to be written.
This is, however, a less than perfect world.
Often when we develop a strategy we need to be cognisant of, and respond to, the internal audience as much as the external audience.
The overlap of the company goals and those of our external audiences should be enough to be the core of a strategy. We see their need and respond to it in a way benefiting the customer and the company. We see an opportunity and build a product and solution to suit the external environment. We see how our two realities align and develop a strategy to realise a positive outcome.
A great strategy should be developed and implemented without needing to steer away from the best solution in favour of the second or third best solution.
A great strategy should be developed without needing to smooth ruffled feathers and wounded egos, because a great strategy benefits the whole company and all the people working for it.
A great strategy benefits the external audience, the end user, and surely we all want that and can leave other things to the side in service of greatness.
However, internally we need to combat biases, ‘we’ve always done it this way’, favouritism, patch protection and fear.
We need to combat the beliefs of people who think it should be them and not you, who bring history and hurts to a discussion that should be about the external audience.
Writing a strategy for many people in many situations is about reading and knowing the internal and external environment and building a plan that gets a ‘yes’ internally in a politically complicated environment and still has enough left over to try and make an impact for the external audience.
It has become about ticking a box instead of moving people.
If we could write a strategy that didn’t have to balance the internal and external, what would we write?
I don’t mean ignoring resources and budget, I mean ignoring roadblocks that aren’t genuine.
What would that strategy look like?
Who can we serve if we aren’t serving the wrong people?
I challenge you to write that strategy.