A fitness tracker for your business
If you want to stay fit and healthy, experts recommend you do at least 150 minutes of vigorous exercise each week.
That's a minimum recommendation. And you're hard-core, right? You're really serious about getting fit and healthy. You're not some amateur wannabee. And you want results - now! So you know you can get a whole year's worth of exercise done in 5.5 days straight. Who needs sleep, after all!? You'll be ripped in no time!
But that is more likely to kill you than to make you fit and healthy.
Sometimes less, but done consistently over time, is better than more.
In business strategy, we can easily become fixated on such grand gestures as well. We prioritise big launches. Grand programmes and projects of work.
They have their place.
But sometimes they start off with a lot of enthusiasm and vigour, only to peter out shortly after.
Good intentions often fade
There are a few reasons why good intentions fade:
- Our attention moves on to the next problem.
I call this the "shiny new thing" syndrome.
- Old habits are hard to break.
When we're trying something new, and things get difficult or we're unsure how best to proceed, we fall back on old habits. They comforting. We understand the rewards they bring.
- We realise that it is actually quite hard work.
Change is hard. As Machiavelli said: "There is nothing more difficult to carry out nor more doubtful of success than to initiate a new order of things".
- We don't yet have the tools and support we need.
In the beginning of something new, we often lack the tools and support we need. We have to work even harder, not just to do the thing that we want to do, but also to acquire the tools and build the support we need to do it.
- We're constantly fighting fires.
There always something important - an emergency - that we just need to deal with first. But, as Ricardo Semler said: "The current crisis is not temporary."
How to persist
Success requires us to do the right thing consistently over time. Day in and day out.
It's often the cumulative effects of this persistence which lead to real change.
There are a number of things you can do to improve your chances.
- Know what you're going to stop.
You're already busy. If you want to do something new, you're probably going to have to stop doing something old.
- Make sure you've got the right resources.
If you want to do something new, you'll probably need new skills, new people, new tools and new processes. Invest in getting them in place to increase your chances of success.
- Don't start something new until you're sure you're ready to see it through.
We're always being told to "Just do it". But if you make the decision to start something too lightly - without enough thought - you're more likely to abandon it just as quickly.
- Break a smaller number of big changes into a larger number of smaller ones.
They're easier to achieve, and those early rewards will encourage you to stick with it.
- Track your progress.
Its important to look forwards towards where you want to get to. But its also important to look backwards to remind yourself how far you've come and that your hard work is paying off.
A fitness tracker for your business
Most successful exercisers know the importance of tracking their progress.
These days, there are all sorts of apps to help you to do this. Strava is a very popular one - they claim to have 95 million annual active users. My gym provides its own app to help its members track their progress. In fact, I have now fewer than 9 apps on my phone to help me keep fit.
These apps can monitor your vital statistics and record your progress. Some simply provide you with the information you need to improve. Others offer training plans and other suggestions.
There are now similar apps for your business.
StratNavApp.com is the online collaborative tool for business strategy development and execution.
Think of it as a training aid and fitness tracker for your business.
It will help you to develop a rich and shared picture of your strategic opportunities and challenges, set clear strategic goals, develop plans to achieve them, and track your progress towards success.
Like a fitness tracker for your business, StratNavApp.com will ensure your business strategy is evidence-based, and it will help you to stay on track.
So, will your business strategy be like one of those New Year's fitness resolutions that doesn't survive past January? Or will be it be your blueprint for business success?