The year is winding down…

And many of the members of our CEO Think Tank® community are turning their thoughts towards annual planning.  Along with lots of “strategic thinking” and “what if” conversations regarding the economy, they’re also asking a critical prioritization question…

“What do we need to focus on NOW – and in the next 3 Years – to set ourselves up for profitability, predictability and ultimately success?”

As you ponder and prepare (after all you can’t do everything), you may want to consider these 4 questions to help you along the way.

First, what stage of growth is your business in?

Our CEO’s have found Flashpoint’s Seven Stages of Growth to be an extremely insightful tool for helping to determine what a company’s priorities should be given where you are on the growth curve.  Are you at the ramp up stage approaching 20 employees where your focus needs to be on profit and hiring quality people? Or are you in the Professional stage (somewhere between 35 and 57 folks) with the challenges in the area of putting the right processes in place and documented?  Or do you have over 160 employees and are at the Visionary Stage where your priorities center around people and product differentiation?

Second, what type of strategic planning should you be doing based on your industry?

A study that was published in the Harvard Business review a few years ago found that companies that correctly match their strategy-making processes to their competitive circumstances perform better that those that don’t.  Check out the article here.  Does your strategic style need to be the classical approach or more adaptive?  Take 5 minutes to read thru their findings and discover the strategic framework to get you started off on the right foot!

Third, looking internally, where have you been successful over the past six to twelve months?

What practices do you want to “operationalize” and make a part of your day to day routine so that they stick and just become “how we do things”?  Perhaps it’s using Rules of Engagement and Core Values to provide a firm foundation for effective working relationships like Datacolor. Or, leveraging 15/Five and a three month on-boarding process like Nielsen-Kellerman. No matter what you’ve discovered is critical to your success in the last year, you’ll want to ensure that these carefully built systems become part of the culture, not just a passing fad that fades away.

Finally, what’s your Achilles heel?

Which one of the Four Decisions of People, Strategy, Execution or Cash is your “weak link” and needs to be focused on in 2023?  If you’d like some assistance, check out our quick Scaling Up Assessment. It only takes 5 minutes.  And, it’s guaranteed to help you pinpoint where you need to focus your efforts – and put you on track for success!

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