Ignore what is lurking in your blind spots—and be ready to pick up the pieces
By Tim Kerstein, Director of Solutions Development
If you believe you are immune to competitive threats spoiling your strategy, then go ahead and move on because this article is not for you.
Still with me?
Strategic thinking is abstract. Humans often default to tactical thinking because it is more concrete. Focusing on now is certainly important, because execution is where strategies often fail; but you fail 100% of the time with the wrong strategy…or worse, no strategy at all.
It's a common pitfall to get so caught up in the weeds that you cannot fully and strategically visualize the entire landscape around you. And if you’re not looking at the whole forest, there might be hidden surprises tucked away in blind spots behind the trees.
The collapse of the “big box” store is a lesson for all. Just because life is good today does not mean it will be good in the future. Our businesses are all vulnerable regardless of annual revenue or number of offices. Admitting weakness or vulnerability is the challenge, but the impact of these “blind spots” can be crippling.
But sometimes a strategic weakness is more of a slow erosion than a blind-side hit. You may even be aware the threat exists, but perceive it to be too small to cause real damage.
Five Questions to Help Identify Blind Spots
- If I were our competition, what would I do to put us out of business?
- Are we earning our customers’ business every day?
- Why are they doing that?
- Is our plan the best plan?
- Are we actively seeking marketplace feedback, and are we asking the right questions?