2009 has been a hard one for all of us. All companies, big or small, in all industries, have been more or less affected by the economic downturn. And even though some people think that the recovery has already started and next year will be better, we all know that it cannot be much better. Not to mention that we might have to get through the second wave of the crisis. In both cases, a full recovery is not likely to happen next year.
Under these circumstances, it seems more important than ever to have a good plan for the next year–in other words, a strategy. One definition of a strategy is “a plan of action … intended to accomplish a goal.” Since all companies have goals, they should also have a strategy that defines how they intend to accomplish those goals. The ultimate goal for a company is profit, but the key is how you intend to get it: find more customers, sell more to the same customers, reduce costs, increase margins, etc.
And when I say a plan, I’m not talking about some ideas in the heads of a couple of managers that they don’t share with others (sometimes because they’re not very clear about the ideas themselves). A strategy is a set of actions that should take into account, as much as is possible, the present and the future state of the market.
A strategy should also include clearly defined activities that are aimed at making the company perform better, with backup activities if the initial ones prove to be ineffective. It should have well-defined milestones and involve as many of the company’s employees as possible. Finally, it should be transparent, so everyone knows about it and how he or she can contribute.
There are many other things to say about strategy and I will probably write another blog post on the topic. What I would like now is to know if your company has a strategy for 2010 and what you think about it. Please use the poll to vote or the comment field to share your thoughts with us.