What exactly does an intelligent business strategy really look like in this day and age? It’s an important question, and one that I find myself thinking about a lot, particularly when I look at the way I communicate with my team. Of course, every business has to have a strategy of some sort – but in a world as volatile as today’s, are there some basic principles that can still provide a firm foundation for success?
I strongly believe that there are, and they inform the way that I approach every aspect of where I want my business to go. So, here are my thoughts on what an intelligent business strategy might look like in 2018.
1. It needs to be goal-orientated
The world is rapidly changing. In terms of technology, economics and geopolitics, things feel as if they’ve got a lot more volatile. But that doesn’t remove the need for one of the most important elements of any strategy – goals – and in fact I think that high volatility makes having clear objectives even more important as you navigate these choppy waters.
But what do I mean by goals? For me, I’ve always taken the approach that goals – both long and short-term – need to run throughout the entire business, at every level, but of course, they must all link with and contribute to your overall objectives as a business too. On any given day, on any given task, your employees must be able to see how they are contributing to everyone’s success – it’s fundamental to engagement, and it’s what keeps your workplace a happy one.
2. It needs to be based on sound values
Every company has values now, don’t they? But what do they really mean? And why are they so important? Well, as someone who has always believed that every business decision I take should make some sort of positive contribution to the world, building your strategy on the values of your business is a no-brainer.
Basing what you do on values gives your business a set of ideas that everyone can look to and test their behaviours against – I’ve always seen them as my company’s conscience. But they’re also much more than just a fluffy ‘nice-to-have’ – by tying your business strategy to the things that you really believe in you are showing everyone in the company that this is an organisation that is worth working hard for.
3. It has to be all about people
Of course, without your employees, your organisation is nothing. And I know that I am hugely lucky to have such a talented team working for me here at OMNIA. But then it’s not completely about luck – my entire business strategy is founded on finding, engaging and retaining the very best people in the various fields I operate in.
I believe that any intelligent business to have this approach right at its heart. So how are you going to treat your employees in 2018? Why should they want to stay with you? What is it like to work in your teams? If you stop someone in the corridor and ask them about how they contribute to your company’s success, would they be able to answer? Do they know what you are trying to achieve with your strategy? Do they care?
4. It has to be smart
One of the most fundamental changes I’ve seen as an entrepreneur over the years has been, of course, the tech revolution. We are now more connected, more mobile and better able to operate on a global level than ever before. We have an opportunity to communicate seamlessly with each other around the world, and to share and collaborate in ways that would have been inconceivable a few years ago.
And of course, we now have better access to huge amounts of data too, driven by this technology. The solutions and strategies that we develop now, here in 2018, can be informed by data that is accurate, and hugely powerful – but it’s really important that we recognise this and put it at the heart of any intelligent strategy we develop. Technology allows us to be more flexible, and to be better informed, than ever before – so this is an opportunity we mustn’t miss as we try to plan ahead.