I remember sitting in a leadership team strategy awayday some years back where the team agreed on its 14 priorities.
… 14. Fourteen.
… More than double the number of company priorities than the number of members of the leadership team.
You’re on a hiding to nothing if your strategy consists of a large (e.g. more than 5) number of strategic imperatives. Simply because you will be spread so thin that you’ll end up with a number of things at best half done, while no one thing done.
And it gets even more insidious than that.
The time spent on half doing 10 things is wasted. Meaning the time has absolutely been spent (=”busyness”), but nothing tangible (=”value”) has come out the other side. So not only has no value been created, but a lot of time has been spent on creating that nothing.
And to really rub salt into the wound, your now demoralised leadership team has just “proved” to itself that strategy is a waste of time. Their (and your) confidence in ever stepping back from the fray to do bigger picture things has notched up another dent.
It’s hard to choose 3 rather than 10. But 3 chosen and done is better than 10 chosen and none delivered.
As we start 2022, if you want your strategy to be more than a PowerPoint deck, join me in my complimentary online workshop “Where your 2022 strategy will go to die, and what you can do about it”. Only for CEOs of companies with 12+ employees / £1.5m+ revenue.
How's 2022 going? Have you been able to step back and focus on strategy, on purpose, on scale? We're looking for an intimate beta group of CEOs (10 to 40 employees) to join us on this workshop to talk through our Build on Purpose framework for making strategy, purpose and values happen. If that's you, join us.