When your career is over, you want to be satisfied with what you’ve achieved. Will you pass the slipper test, being able to relax in your armchair wearing the slippers your kids bought you long ago? Will you feel content that you have no regrets over an ‘if, but or maybe’ moment in business? Looking back, did you have a strategy?

Stepping away from a company come retirement will be all the more rewarding knowing you have solid strategies in place. Delivering a strategic plan is crucial to all organisations, regardless of size.

This type of strategy is not single-player either – you have to encourage openness within your team to allow for fruitful debate and exchange of ideas, facilitating a willingness to resolve the more difficult and challenging issues through discussion.

Why is strategy important?

A well-crafted and executed strategy establishes a foundation that the organisation can create, monitor and measure its success against. It allows staff to understand their core capabilities, identify and rectify weaknesses and mitigate risks.

It helps organisations better design themselves for success and means all the ‘ifs, buts and maybes’ are laid out on the table, allowing everyone to agree on the next key actions.

These quandaries become even more imperative throughout periods of change. Businesses have to adapt to the evolving world – it’s adapt or perish, and the most successful businesses are the ones that recognise that what made them, will not grow them.

Is your business ready for the future?

It is incredibly important that businesses understand what future developments may impact them, and more importantly, have a strategy for how they will respond.

To secure their future, businesses need to maintain a competitive, relevant offering in a changing market. This includes listening to customers to ensure that products not only align with needs, but exceed them in ways not yet considered.

The three questions discover if your business has a viable strategy are where are we going?, why are we going there? and what’s my role?

If you believe you can answer these questions then you’re probably on the right road. If not, consider getting your team together to tackle the long-term challenges of your business by putting a strategy in place.

Address the following when putting a strategy in place:

  • Strategic plans should have a long-term view of the business (3 years plus) and clarify and focus the unique position of the business relative to its competitors.

  • The business strategy of a company should provide the big-picture overview that shows how all the individual activities are coordinated to achieve a desired long-term end result.

  • Strategy needs to consider the opportunities and threats in the outside business world and the internal strengths and weaknesses of the business.

  • It is through the execution of preparing a strategy that the overall direction of the business is set and is why strategy is important.

And as for the slipper – everyone suffers from the curse of self-doubt sometimes and when it comes to that reflective moment at the end of your business career, then having the right strategy in place streamlines your business so that every investment, in both time and money, is spent working towards a vision and direction that the whole organisation is aiming for. This will give you the most likely satisfying way of passing the slipper test.