Simplicity is gold. Anyone can make any subject complicated. The real winners are folks who simplify things. Look at how Apple made music subscription and streaming so simple. You enjoy any music and your subscription is hustles. You have the option to subscribe per year, and it can auto-renew if you are someone who focuses on personal happiness and great experience instead of minding small things.
People want simplified things. There are so many problems that have the potential to generate money. The challenge is few people can solve the problems simply with a monetization strategy.
After interacting with several executives, I have concluded that fraud risk is a big problem. Financial institutions are spending a fortune trying to find a solution that works in vain. Finding a simple solution to the fraud problem is a big challenge. Anyone can make a complicated solution. And that is why no one is buying.
If you want your strategic plan to stand out, it should be simple.
A good strategic plan is not:
- Many pages
- Lots of tables and jargon
- Big charts and lots of PPT slide decks
- Lots of analysis and market information about SWOT, and similar models.
A good strategy is a simple statement of choices of what the company plans to do and what it will not do. What is your target market? Which products and services will you sell? What are your delivery channels and why? And how do you plan to scale?
A financial institution spent over US $120,000 paying high rated international consultants to document a strategic plan. After chewing all that money, they delivered lots of PowerPoint slide decks and over 300 pages of the document, apparently to justify the fee.
After engaging the CEO for a period of over three months, he finally arranged for me to have a chat with his executive committee team. The CEO’s opening remarks went like this: “We have already concluded our strategic planning process. But Mustapha requested to have a chat with us about strategy and execution discipline. Since we lose nothing listening to him, I asked him to be present. We shall give him only 10 minutes.
Mustapha, these are all members of the top management team. You have the floor. Talk to us.”
As consultants, we are always looking for such an opportunity to pitch.
“Thanks, Mr Chairman. I will go straight to the point. I am aware you have just launched your new strategic plan. If you don’t mind, please get a copy of your strategic plan and open a page that defines your strategy? What is the strategy in your strategic plan?‘’
You will see people opening page after page. The whole document is like a research paper. Lots of data about the economy, strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are listed in abstract terms without linkage to the strategic choices to win with the stakeholders against the competition.
So, what is your strategy in the strategic plan?
Keep it short, simple and to the point. You don’t have to spend a fortune to define a clear strategy that is easy to understand and communicate.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Strategy 2021. All rights reserved.