What have you got if you have a cricket ball in this hand and one in this hand? A bloody big cricket

This is a reprint of a classic blog that I wrote in October 2019 when I first started my company Shiageto Consulting. Enjoy!

One of the biggest “Focus Costs” is a lack of clarity. From the small: “Did they say that they wanted milk in their coffee?”, to the large: “I don’t really understand the company strategy!”

“SO WHAT?”, you might think, those things don’t really matter. Au contraire; each time there is confusion, things suffer and the likelihood of success is decreased.

In the case of the coffee, the person may get the order wrong, thus making the other person a little unhappy. Alternatively, they may choose to head back to the office to clarify what exactly was asked for, thus adding time taken for such a small task.

In the case of the company strategy, this has far wider implications. It means that employees don’t know the direction they should be heading in, they can’t make connections between the work they do and the vision of the company, and they can get frustrated. Ultimately, this could end up with them undertaking activities that are counterproductive to the company or, even worse, inventing their own interpretation of the strategy. At the very least, they’ll take considerably longer to do things and will be less motivated. The same go for customers and suppliers who may just walk away because of the confusion.

More often than not, employees, suppliers and customers won’t be vocal in mentioning that a strategy isn’t clear (they either can’t be bothered or feel embarrassed to raise it) and so the fog of confusion persists and permeates.

It takes a strong leadership to constantly check that their strategy is clear and understood. The questions they should be asking themselves are:

– Do we have a clear, concise mission statement?

– Do we have a focused strategy that is aligned to the vision?

– Do we have measurable outcomes that can be used to judge success of the strategy? (SMART* goals would be ideal here and no goals should be contradictory to each other)

– Are all our key stakeholders brought into these and can articulate them in a similar manner?

– Can the vision and strategy be articulated in a simple way that any lay person would be able to understand?

– Do we have a plan to communicate the strategy internally and externally? (this will be ongoing as you can never talk about your strategy enough)

– Does the strategy flow through the whole business so that all team activities, objectives and projects can clearly be linked back to it?

In our numerous years working with countless organisations, we see a great many unclear strategies and the pain they are causing our clients. We have worked with a range of senior teams, using a range of techniques to quickly ensure that all the above is in place.

Our work really helps unlock value and remove confusion to power our clients forward.

If you are interested to find out more and test just how clear your strategy is, then drop us a line. After all, you can never get enough focus!

* Good old SMART goals; you’ll find varying definitions but we at Shiageto distill this as Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound goals

Faris is the CEO and Founder of Shiageto Consulting, an innovative consultancy that helps firms and individuals sharpen their effectiveness.

Success = IQ x EQ x FQ

Originally Published on https://farisaranki.medium.com/

Faris Aranki Strategy & Emotional Intelligence

Having spent over 20 years delivering strategic change for the corporate and non-corporate worlds, Faris has experienced first-hand the fine differences between strategic success and failure.
His work has spanned numerous companies (from global behemoths to small start-ups), in numerous countries, across a range of sectors, supporting them all to unlock strategic success.

He came to realize that often what hinders institutions from achieving their goals goes beyond the quality of their strategy; it is their ability to engage effectively with others at all levels and remove barriers in their way. This has led to his passion for improving strategic effectiveness within all businesses and individuals and the foundation of Shiageto Consulting.

Over time, Faris has worked to distill his knowledge of how to solve complex problems in a structured manner combined with his skill on engaging effectively with others and his ability to quickly determine the barriers to a strategy's success. This knowledge has formed the foundation of Shiageto’s workshops, courses and methodologies. Faris believes that any firm or team can adopt these improvements; all it requires is a little of the right support -something Shiageto provides!

On top of leading our business, Faris is now an accomplished speaker and contributor for a variety of outlets.

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