Two Musts for a New Strategy: Honesty and Courage

Strategic insights can dramatically improve a company’s position and growth in its market. But a strategy is often difficult to launch successfully because it impacts so many aspects of an organization. Both the internal communications and external branding will need to change along with the current mindset.

That leaves the question of what to do with all of the current branding messaging, marketing materials, sale materials, internal training systems, and a myriad of related issues that individuals and departments might not be too excited about seeing go away.

How can you decide if a strategic change is worth the effort? Here are some questions to answer:

  1. Are you satisfied where you are now?
  2. Do you think you could improve your situation with a different strategy?
  3. Do your clients think you need something new?

If you answered in the affirmative to one or more of these questions you probably need to consider a course correction. The reality is, “Either you manage your company’s strategic direction or the market will set one for you.” Every company has a systemic strategy in place that is working full time sending cues to employees, customers, vendors, and related publics. These cues define who the organization is and how it is thought of in the marketplace. And they have a direct bearing on the success of a company’s business.

Often company executives know things are not working properly but they are afraid to make a major shift. What happens if the new direction is worse than the current one? This occurs in corporations, entrepreneurial firms, and nonprofits alike. Almost always a company’s strategy is entirely responsible for the results that it is achieving, and leaders are entirely responsible for that strategy. And yet, putting a new strategy in place can be very difficult for an organization who is entrenched in what used to work.

Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.
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