Considering that over 90% of companies are mediocre, it doesn’t make much sense to even raise the question of strategy. Companies are mediocre because they have no leadership that could provide a concept that may serve as the foundation of any kind of strategy, so they are, without exception playing catch-up. Their „leaders” are staring in the rear-view mirror and at various indicators while stepping ever heavier on the gas pedal. All the while there is only one song coming from the speakers at maximum volume: faster!
Paradoxically they are terrified of taking their eyes off the rear-view mirror and focusing on the road.
People at leading firms do precisely this. There is no noise, their attention is proportionately spread between the road, the mirrors and the indicators with most attention dedicated to the road, they feel the car and most of all: they know precisely why they are driving and they know it pretty well where they are heading.
There is no strategy without a concept!
It’s easy to find out if there really is a concept behind a written and „internalized” strategy; we just need to ask the question: what is your strategy based on? If the CEO’s answer is quantitative like last year’s results, or is based on outside factors like market data, competitive behaviour, etc., then there is no concept.
There is no focus without strategy
This is also easy to test. Just see what happens in the controlling department in budgeting or reporting times: so called bullshit strategies, that are not based on a defendable concept but are dreamed up by management in offsite sessions somewhere in the mountains or beach resorts, simply can’t be implemented. If they still appear to be implemented, it is mostly because the controlling team is diligently correcting the numbers in the reporting period.
The organization is weak without focus
A weak organization is slow and reactive. It is passive. There is simply nothing to organize around. Most of the people don’t do what they should be doing and almost everybody performs way below their abilities – 10-12 hours a day.
We can immediately recognize a weak organization: it’s enough to sit around at the main reception for 5-15 minutes during lunchtime and listen to the people. They are typically cynical, complaining or you can see fear in the eyes.
A weak organization is a sign of no leadership
Without a leader there is no concept, strategy is forgotten and resources are wasted on trying to keep together a disintegrating organization while the company is missing out on opportunities and falls behind.