Last week we wrote a post that addressed a couple of key strategic planning questions that executives must ask themselves in the face of limited resources, an ailing global economy, and increasing pricing pressure. Booz & Co. suggests that rather than seek increased revenues and profits by expanding products and markets, companies should follow a seven-step strategy for achieving more with less:
1. Discovery (Figure Out What Works): inventory your business to produce a series of success themes.
2. Strategy (Focus Through Lenses): cluster and prioritize the success themes to define the focused bets the company should make (products, distribution, etc.) The prioritization criteria should include the expected impact and resources required.
3. Vision (Find a Simple Hook): summarize the findings in a compelling yet simple vision and then communicate it through all levels of the organization as a type of “rally cry.”
4. People (Unleash the Potential): challenge leaders to act as entrepreneurs and staff should be given huge targets but also empower them and provide resources to pursue them.
5. Execution (Clarify and Delegate): the most important step in the journey, this is also the most difficult as it requires role clarity (who is doing what) and decentralizing decision making closer to the customer.
6. Organization (Build Collaborative Networks): match skills and priorities across organizational departments to get the best mix of local and global ideas.
7. Metrics (Manage Numbers and Tell Stories): use simple, objective scorecards to track progress and tell powerful stories to propagate culture and maintain momentum.
Growth through focus requires patience and perseverance. Avoid the traps of lost focus and invest in brand building.