Remember when you spent time reviewing your strategy quarterly?

Well, you need to do that more often!

I suggest dedicating at least 2 hours each month to reflect on the changes happening around you. If you’re not doing it… well, that’s going to be a problem.

There is one thing we can all agree on: change is fast and furious right now. The Pandemic is only one reason – add the election, social unrest, and technology.  Since we are experiencing much more “uncertainty” than “predictability,” you need to spend more time on the “uncertainties.”

Make more time to “Look Up.” This phrase is from my Harvard Business School professor who compared strategy to soccer. Great players are constantly looking up (not at the ball) and assessing their opponents, their teammates, the referees, the field, etc. The goal is to constantly assess the best way to score. The first thing you teach a soccer player is how to dribble, then to look up!

I am spending significant time “looking up” for myself and my clients. My sources include: Vistage, WSJ, Lencioni, Verne Harnish, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the local Business Courier. Honestly, I have given up on the local news!

Companies will be run differently. Rethink (not Restart) your strategic plan – make it more adaptive/dynamic (monthly discussions). This means making time to monitor external predictors such as KPIs. I recommend each person on the leadership team be accountable for their area. See the Framework I created using the PEST. Here are some Key External indicators to consider: PPE changes, unemployment rate, business confidence, consumer confidence, school starts/not start, GPD, housing starts, interest rates, social unrest, political changes, regulations.

My key learnings are listed below. We will talk about these during the August 11 Stretch Webinar Chat as well.

1. Operating Costs are increasing – healthcare, insurance, safety and other costs will result in higher costs.

2. Focus, own, and understand your existing client needs and challenges. Know which customers are struggling and which are not. Statistics I’ve seen show >75% of companies will experience at least a 25% decline in revenue. Do you know which ones? How is your client retention, Net Promoter Score, and revenue retention? What else can you do for your existing customers to grow account share?

3. Companies that understand “Omni-channels” are winning. You need to better understand your channels to your market. Expand and find opportunities in all your channels (direct and in-direct). I recently read a great article on Chipotle – digital orders now make up 61% of their revenue. They are building more drive-thrus with a new concept, Chipotlanes.

4. Companies leading in the digital transformation are winning. Disruption accelerates automation and technology adoption. Capital is inexpensive right now.  If you can invest in automation, you should. See key learning #1 – costs are increasing so productivity needs to off-set it.

5. Regional economies will widely vary on performance. Need regional strategies. (May be time to do more location-based strategic planning.)

6. LOOK UP! Commit time to Monthly discussions with your leadership team about what is happening around you. Determine if this a new opportunity or a threat and adapt.