Posts Tagged ‘strategic’

Are we having fun yet?

While ‘beliebers’ fret over the fate of their idol, the rest of us have more strategic matters to consider as we head to the last week of the first month of 2014.  Things like:

  • It’s election year (in New Zealand).  How active is your business in relevant associations that could influence legislation?  And should you be, or not?  (This actually applies even if it’s not election year where you are).
  • How do you think the economy is going to trend this year in countries that impact your business?  Here in New Zealand commentators are saying we have a ‘Rockstar’ economy, but what does that mean for you?  And why is unemployment remaining high, with more layoffs still occurring?  How could that affect you if you need to recruit?
  • Now that the holidays are pretty much over, have you clarified your goals for this year, or have you fallen into the New Year resolution trap, and already lost your way on your key priorities? (It’s not too late – get to and set them now, with actionable steps).
  • What are your clients’ priorities this year?  Do you know?  How can you help them achieve their goals?

Finally, arTurn new year resolutions into actionable stepse we having fun yet???  If you’re not loving your business or career, and we are only in January, it’s time to review.  Make 2014 the year you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning and keep making a difference!

Jenni Murphy-Scanlon is the owner of Strategies Direct, and loves helping her clients find fame, fortune and future-fit in their chosen markets.  She offers you a free report ‘How to think strategically’ at


Royal Baby Arrival A Model for New Strategy

The whole world it seems is waiting to hear the news. What will it be? How will the details be announced? Wouldn’t it be great if your staff and customers paid the same attention to your new strategy announcement? So what can you take from this event and apply to your next strategy or marketing review and subsequent PR campaign?

  • Create a romantic, or at least really interesting, background story. The royal birth started with the royal romance, royal wedding and so forth. Try to create a story that will capture the interest of your stakeholders.
  • Set the trend. Do something new that others will want to follow. Much of the media anticipation around the royal birth is fuelled by the desire of a portion of the public to copy the royal name, pram, clothes and everything else they choose. If you have followers who want what you produce or want to copy what you do, then while the ‘dailies’ might not be interested, your database, facebook fans and twitter followers may well be.
  • Create anticipation. The late arrival of the royal baby has added to the media and public interest. If you can create anticipation about your announcements, you will get more attention and more interest.
  • Don’t be entirely predictable. There is much blogging and discussion about how the royal baby arrival, weight and name will be announced and when. Will there be the traditional posting of a notice on the gates of Buckingham Palace, or will it be announced via Twitter, or both? If you always use the same methods to announce your important news to staff or other stakeholders, they are likely to get bored and cynical. Keep them guessing and add an element of surprise!

Jenni offers a free report ‘How to think strategically’ at her website

When being operational is more comfortable..

Sometimes people are not strategic in their thinking because they choose not to be. It’s much more comfortable to do what’s familiar and that is often operational, short-term tasks.

I often think back to a good example of this. I had not long been in business when a friend kindly introduced me to a friend of his who was an HR Manager responsible for a considerable geographic region of a large organisation. When I met with him he explained to me that his role involved a lot of disciplinary issues. These were particularly prevalent he had noticed in winter and just prior to Christmas.

Immediately interested in this trend, I enquired why that was. He said he didn’t know but these were his busiest periods and could be the time of year he might need a consultant to help out. I came back to the question again. Why was this trend occurring? And then the critical question, what preventative action could be taken to reduce it?

It became apparent that this HR Manager was not in any way interested in identifying the causes of the trend, and certainly not interested in preventing it. I could only conclude that he was very comfortable with reactive work and while he was busy being needed for this work, he did not have to tackle the more strategic proactive aspects of the role.

On the other hand, perhaps he just didn’t know where to start with identifying causes. Either way, I imagine that 2 years on he still has those busy periods dealing with disciplinaries!!

The problem is that while we are busy fighting fires, we are actually irresponsibly wasting resources. Only by taking the time and energy to identify trends and respond in a pro-active way, are we actually doing our jobs well. No matter whether the job is strategic or operational in nature.

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