Business Battlecard: Brevity is the Soul of Strategy
When we started out advising companies, we met an energetic and enthusiastic CEO of a growing company who was trying to put a strategy in place to drive his company forward. However, after acquiring top business and strategy books and devising numerous business plans, he struggled to explain his strategy to the management team.
“From now on,” he said, “I want a strategy that you can see on one page. If you can’t get it down on one page, it’s no good to me.” This made a huge impression on us. We realised that brevity is not just the soul of wit but also the soul of strategy.
Why create a strategy?
Growing companies often start out well. They have an enthusiastic team and an interesting product, which finds buyers. However, they respond to situations in an ad hoc way and in time, when they hit a glass ceiling, their management team can’t understand why. They lack a clear plan of where they see their company going and how they plan to get there.
Nothing prevents growth more than a weak strategy and nothing drives growth faster than a superior one. Companies that develop winning strategies understand their customers more profoundly than their customers understand themselves.
The Five Battlecard Questions
Our strategy approach is based entirely on growing companies. Through working with over 300 growing companies in the US and Europe, we have identified the factors that accelerate and inhibit growth. Our aim is to keep strategy creation simple and strong.
In our experience all growing companies experience challenges in the following five areas:
We have used these to craft five questions on which our approach is centred:
- What do you want to be famous for?
- Who are your selected customers?
- Where is your measurable value?
- Why should customers choose you rather than your competitors?
- How will you get your product to market?
Successful companies can answer these questions. They’re on-message. All the areas of the business are working together to in a virtuous circle, aligned with each other and the company strategy.
Insight in Brief
- Commit to Shared Vision: What do you want to be famous for?
- Select your sweet spot customer: Who are your selected customers?
- Create measurable value: Where is your measurable value?
- Beat the competition: Why should customers choose you rather than your competitors?
- Crack the channel code: How will you get your product to market?
Insight in Action
- Are you transforming growth? Why not get your team together, ask the five questions and complete the Business Battlecard to see how aligned you are.
- Your completed Business Battlecard will bring clarity, consistency and a common language to your team. It will put you on a path of continually adapting and improving your strategy, and ultimately transform growth.