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. 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 Tracking?
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?
Setting clear 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 each other?
Building commitment, 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 At Night?
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.