Each business starts
and ends with strategy. Without a strategy in place, the company will struggle
to perform well over the long-term. Harvard Business School professor, Robert
Simons, developed Simons 7 Strategy Questions as a helpful tool for reviewing
and evaluating your strategy over time. For a more in depth analysis, check out our strategic planning guide. Below you will find the seven questions
that need to be asked:
1. Who is your primary customer?
The first question
begins with evaluating your customer – the person you are trying to serve. By
having a clear picture of your primary customer, you can shift your focus into
satisfying their needs, wants and requirements. For example, having a clear
target group in your marketing strategy will allow you to devote your budget to
the right people, at the right time.
2. How Do Your Core Values Prioritize
Shareholders, Employees, and Customers?
Further, you need to
evaluate your priorities among your shareholders, employees and customers. Who
would you rank first? Whose interest comes first?
There is no correct or
wrong answer – it all depends upon your business strategy and objectives.
3. What Critical Performance Variables Are You
Another question to be
asked is in regards to setting the rights goals and evaluating your performance
towards those goals. If you are measuring the wrong performance indicators you
will end up confused and disordered. That’s why you need to be 100% sure that
you are measuring relevant and meaningful performance variables.
4. What Strategic Boundaries Have You Set?
boundaries is key to controlling strategic risk. For this reason, strategic boundaries
are vital to ensure that your company follows the right direction towards its
business objectives. Another reason to set strategic boundaries is to protect
your firm from errant actions.
5. How Are You Generating Creative Tension?
The next implementation
imperative focuses on spurring innovation. Your company should not remain
stagnant – it should remain dynamic, agile and innovative. By generating
creative tension, you are encouraging innovation, change and advancement.
6. How committed are your employees to helping
partnership and teamwork is the sixth imperative of this model. Although this
is not a norm and every business can make its own decisions based on the firm’s
culture, structure and management style; it cannot be denies that fostering a
collaborative corporate environment can significant enhance employee
motivation, productivity and performance.
7. What Strategic Uncertainties Keep You Awake
The last question of
this model lies behind the strategic uncertainties prominent within your
business. The truth is that the business environment is constantly changing and
evolving and no matter how good your strategy is, if you fail to adapt to the
ever-changing business environment, you will soon be out of the game. So, make
sure that you are continuously adapting to changes, ranging from changes in
technology to evolving consumer needs.