I think so many of us are not strategic in the way we function. We are mainly operational and that can limit our advancement this 2018.
I want to share with you what I shared on #TheIncubators_Africa closed facebook group last year on how to be more strategic in execution.
I believe this would help someone out there this 2018.
So if you are ready, kindly read through.
But first, let me make some quick separation.
When I say STRATEGIC EXECUTION, I am not referring to STRATEGY EXECUTION per se.
There are two different things, even though they are not.
So please in the context of my discussion, the question I want to answer is:
“HOW DO I EXECUTE STRATEGICALLY IN 2018?”
I will share with you just 5 of what have worked for me, and I am confident they can help you too.
There are more, but let me stick to just 5.
So here are they:
1. OPERATE WITH FORESIGHT:
Please note that I didn’t say have a “Vision”.
I said operate with Foresight.
Now, what that means is simple:
How aware are you of the various dynamics that can play out in the future on whatever you are doing or want to do?
To be strategic, you must always stay ahead of the curve.
Strategic people have one trait in common:
They possess awareness for the present and for the future.
It is like they live in two worlds at the same time.
They have hindsight, but more importantly, they have foresight.
They see ahead; they see patterns; they see intersections.
Ordinary folks are merely operational.
They don’t see beyond their noses.
Now, let’s say you are trying to launch a new product into a new market and you want to ensure your execution is strategic.
The first thing you need to do is to ask yourself:
“What are the likely happenings or variables going to play out in the future?”
Having foresight of how things are going to evolve, helps you position yourself ahead of others?
A War General that has foresight will always be steps ahead of the one that doesn’t.
2. SCENARIO MAXIMIZATION:
Scenario Maximization is a product of Foresight but then also unique in its form and application.
Let’s say you are trying to meet a Top Player in your industry, of which working with him or having his deal will be a major push to attaining a certain goal.
Let’s say you have a meeting by 9 a.m.
To be strategic, for me, I sit down with the foresight I have already developed about this and how it can play out on my goals and then I begin to create possible scenarios in my head and what my response would be.
If he says NO, what would my response be?
If he says YES, what would my response be?
If he says N10,000,000, what would my counter negotiation be?
If he isn’t in the office, what do I do?
I play out open scenarios in my head and fill them up.
Scenarios are weapons of readiness and agility in the ever-changing war of executing a strategy.
3. CREATIVE SEQUENCING:
Creative Sequencing (CS) is one of my favourites techniques to being strategic in my execution.
It basically means me deliberating designing a flow of overlapping actions to form a connecting loop, of which the one before is feeding the one next to it.
Let me explain.
Let’s say I am planning to launch and market a Cake store in say a place like Lagos.
Obviously, this singular goal comes with various tasks or to-dos.
The mistake most people make is to execute their tasks as “isolated units”.
So they do the following (for example):
– Set up store
– then decide to print flyers
– then they distribute flyers
– then they decide to call a party
– then they wait for customers to come
– and then if customers don’t come
– then they hit the streets and distribute flyer again.
This approach to execution is broken and not strategic.
They are isolated.
To become strategic, you need to ask yourself how can I make Task A feed Task B and B feed Task C and C Task D and so on…and maybe back to A.
Make it a loop.
So for example, you ask yourself:
How can I creatively orchestrate the flyers I produce and distribute that they allow me to garner customer data, when I have the data, how can that feed into me organizing an in-store meet-up for them, and how can I orchestrate that meet-up that they bring 3 more persons and how can these three more persons become ambassadors …. so on and so forth.
You see the connecting loop ?
What I am doing here is “creative sequencing”.
And they are many ways to shuffle this.
I only shared one (for now).
If you want to learn to execute strategically, one of the most fundamental things you must open yourself to is Human Psychology.
When pursuing a goal, truth is that over 80% of the variables you would deal with would be Human Elements.
It is all about People and knowing ahead how they think.
Strategic execution requires that you understand psychographies – like I mean it.
Now please hear this…
Before I engage with someone on a goal or process, first I want to enter into their mind and know what they are thinking and how they are thinking about the things they are thinking about.
That’s a mouthful, huh?
Please read it again slowly.
Look, if I am able to understand and distill their psychology, I can easily speak their language or positively influence them by adding value that feeds that gap.
So this is the assignment, guys!
When you have goals to achieved, ask yourself what are the human elements and what is their thinking behaviour.
What is the baseline thinking that’s driving them?
That would help you design a response or follow up techniques.
5. SPEED THINKING
I love speed.
When it comes to execution, speed gives me added advantage as well as economies of scale.
But to be able to do that, I must first learn the art of “thinking on the move”.
As you grow in life, you will begin to realize that there would be more serious demands placed on your ability and urgency to learn to process data and information faster than you are correctly doing.
I will like you to watch the way decisions are processed and made in some of the American detective movies you and I watch.
Watch the following movies:
– WhiteHouse Down.
You will see what I mean.
Fast. Clear. On the move.
Now, I am not saying we must all start off from here but this is where we should all strive to be in 2018 and beyond.
Learning how to increase the velocity of your thinking without compromising its quality and depth is both a science and an art.
It helps you to stay ahead of the pack and execute in ways that leave your competitors pants hanging down.
Are they elements slowing your velocity of thoughts, you need to fix that asap.
Okay guys, these are just 5 of MY strategic execution techniques.
Please think through these and I would love to hear what you think.