Chasing The Trend

Is Not A Strategy

MANY FIRMS and many people live their lives by chasing the trend.

They ask themselves questions like, what’s popular? What are other people doing? What’s the “it” thing?

They then chase the trend in an attempt to ride the wave of prosperity and capture some of the growth, glory and profits for themselves.

This may work for you, and it may work more than once.

A key problem though with “chasing the trend” as a way of thinking and as an approach to business is that it is fundamentally unbalanced. It allows goals to be set by reference to external events, by the whims of the crowd, or a passing fancy. You risk becoming a moth to the flame.

Chasing is not a strategy.

The alternative is to look internally, and to do the hard work of figuring out who you are as an organisation or as a person.

What are you best at? What comes naturally to you? What can you bring to the table that others may find difficult?

You can then match your capabilities with market opportunities, and build your strategy from there.

After all is said and done, you may end up being part of the trend. But you will no longer be chasing.

5 Steps to Creating Great Strategy

Developing excellent strategy consists of just 5 steps

Creating Great Strategy

HERE are five steps that you can use to formulate great strategy:

  1. Diagnose: assess the lay of the land. Understand the company, the competitive environment and the broader economy. What is the company’s business model? Who are the competitors? Who are the customers and suppliers? And, what are the current market conditions?
  2. Forecast: accept that change is constant. Identify industry trends and potential opportunities. What’s the next big thing?
  3. Brainstorm: think of a range of options. How can you provide more value to customers in a way that takes advantage of industry trends? Can you provide existing solutions in a new way or in new markets? Or, are their options to tackle new problems?
  4. Commit: select a strategy. Set SMART goals to help you achieve the strategy, and commit organisational resources to support it. Hemingway once said that you should “never confuse movement with action.” And by committing to a well thought out strategy, a business leader can help to ensure that she is taking meaningful action rather than just going through the motions of day to day business.
  5. Commence: the final step is to begin. Decide on the next step, and take it. While starting can be scary and may not immediately lead to results, remember that “action is the foundational key to all success” (Pablo Picasso). Or, as Goethe once said, “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”