Following years of revenue and team building, you may finally be in a position to step back from managing day-to-day operations. To bring your company to the next level, it’s time for you to engage in strategic planning. “The shift in thinking from solving operational challenges to thinking about the big-picture direction for the company is a sizeable one,” reports Gwen Moran. Not everyone makes this transition successfully. If you’ve overestimated how well you’ve made that shift, you’re in the same boat as many leaders. You may be suffering from a blind spot.
How do you know if you’ve got this problem? You could poll team members through a 360-degree survey to solicit their opinions on how you’re doing strategy-wise. But many of these folks may not even be sure what kind of strategic thinking is needed. A better option would be to establish a team of forward-thinking individuals and set regular meetings to discuss strategy. Assign people tasks such as following what’s happening in your industry and in related industries. Ask them to track what customers are saying about your current products and what features they would like to see added on.
While it's fine to rely on team input, as CEO or business owner, you should take responsibility for the largest share of strategic thinking. Here's how to make it happen. Block a period of time each week to analyze where disintermediation and disruption is happening in various industries. Study new pieces of legislation. These changes can open up business opportunities for individuals who can see upcoming problems and potential solutions in unique ways.
Finally, hold yourself accountable. You may be accustomed to rushing into an operational issue every time you see one. In the past you’ve been the one to fix them. That doesn’t mean you should continue to be the point person for problems. Ask yourself why you keep interfering in operational issues. If you don’t trust the person you put in charge of handling them, appoint someone else. If you’re afraid of taking on the task of strategic planning, acknowledge the fear. Tell yourself that the worst you can do is fail. In which case you will pick yourself up and try again.