• Ian Baker

4 Steps to Building a Solid Boardroom Strategy

The sounds like a grand plan that is only done in large companies, but the following is a To Do list for any size or type of business.

If you and your board lack clear direction and focus, then sadly you will be destined for failure. Developing and reviewing regularly your strategy against the vision or goals for the business is therefore one of the most important activities you and your fellow board members can do. A solid strategy will ensure the effectiveness and longevity of your business and will enable you to always make effective decisions and prioritise your efforts.

You might still be reading this and saying, “we don’t need a strategy, our business is running perfectly”. When times are good and business is flying, the strategy does often write itself, however, when times aren’t so good; business owners and boards can often begin to unravel and start chasing the wrong plans and making poor decisions.

I have therefore split my thoughts on solid strategy development into 4 areas:

1. Capabilities – I work with business owners to create a score sheet, that ranks their capabilities against some specific areas, these are:

  • Market Knowledge & Trend identification

  • Metric identification and measuring

  • Forecasting ability

  • Board team assessment (engagement, skills & understanding of business goals & values)

By scoring the business on each area, we can then come back and assess the improvements year on year.

2. Successes and Failures – it is important to be honest about the last 12 months and assess what has gone well and what activities have missed or failed. Most businesses adopt the use of a standard SWOT analysis – this is a great tool and I encourage clients to use this. It is important that you analyse all areas, such as:

  • Product portfolio

  • Market (Share and targets)

  • Competitors

  • Operations

  • Reputation

  • Sales

  • Retention (customers and staff)

3. Mission & Direction – using the evaluations from points 1 & 2 we can begin to craft or re-craft the businesses mission and core strategies for the future. I therefore like to ask some key questions:

  • Is your reason to be still valid?

  • Are you still unique?

  • Are your values aligned?

  • Is one particular area of the business letting it down?

4. Communicate, Live & Review – after completing the first 3 points, you will now be able to polish the strategy for your business as drafted by you and the other board members. If you have employees, now is the time to communicate the vision for the future. It is also important that internally and externally the whole business begins to Live the strategy; this is important, as the strategy should guide effective decision making.

Finally review and amend if required, a good board will consistently reflect on its performance against strategy and ensure it remains on track.

I hope this whistle stop article has helped you and your fellow directors to begin recognising the importance of a solid board strategy.

If you require more information about how we work with business owners and boards then please contact me for a call.

07783 339773

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