Keeping strategy simple: companies need to focus on a simple four-step plan for success

Strategy is complex but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Most businesses can gain a lot of momentum and results by following a four-step formula for strategic success

1. Plan
Companies need to have a great understanding of the competitive landscape both internally and externally. A thorough size up, which includes a good hard look at the value proposition, is critical.

2. Strategy map
Strategy mapping is a technique used to illustrate a company’s strategy in pictorial form, making connections between the various components. This validates the strategy, and facilitates much easier understanding of strategy for the workforce.

3. Balanced scorecard
Unless you are measuring progress vis-à-vis strategy, you will find it difficult to know where you are excelling and where you are coming up short. A balanced scorecard, or some similar type of dashboard, allows companies to monitor progress. This gives great insights as to whether and to what degree the company is achieving strategy.

4. Review and assess
With the balanced scorecard as the centerpiece, actual fiscal results are compared to expectations, objective by objective, with investigation and corrective action as necessary.

This formula has proven time and time again to be effective. More complicated strategies aren’t necessarily better strategies; this four-step methodology is simple yet thorough. Thoughts and comments are always welcome.