Is Strategy Simple or Complex?

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On October 13, 2017

I’ve talked before about the importance of having a solid business strategy. Creating the right strategy is absolutely essential if you want to grow your business. But is strategy simple or complex? That sounds like a pretty straightforward question, but the answer is a little bit more involved.

To be honest, it’s not an “either/or” question. Frankly, your strategy needs to be simple enough that every employee (from the leadership team on down) can understand it and act on it—and even see how what they do contributes to achieving the goals that the strategy is designed to achieve. That doesn’t mean that your accounting people necessarily understand how to do the job of an engineer. Still, employees need to see not just the big picture, but to understand that there are clear steps for arriving at the goal.

Overly simple strategies aren’t helpful either. Strategies need to be detailed enough that employees aren’t left wondering what to do next. That means having clear goals and measurable steps. It also means regularly monitoring the situation to see if your strategy needs to change. A football team may have a great play that effectively moves the ball down the field. But if they run the same play over and over, that play loses its effectiveness. The opposing team will eventually figure out how to stop it.

You can’t call a timeout in business, but you can have regular meetings that review performance and evaluate goals and strategies.

If you’ve had a smaller business, you may have been able to get by—quite nicely—with a fairly simple business strategy. But if you’re trying to significantly grow your business, you will probably need a strategy that’s a bit more involved. You will likely be facing business challenges that require more detail and more involved decisions in the areas of production, marketing, and cash management.

Contact me to talk about what kind of strategy you’ll need to meet your specific business goals for the kind of growth you want to see for your business. The real objective isn’t to create strategies that are overly complex or super simple. What you’re really after is a strategy that fits your goals and helps you take the specific steps required to meet those goals.