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Without Strategy, a Goal is a mere Fantasy

Updated: Jan 7

Guru Wonder - 4S management series

Everyone wants to be someone rich, powerful, famous etc. Getting what we desire is called success, and everyone wants to achieve success. There is just one little snag, most of us, don't know exactly how to achieve it. So we work hard, running hither and thither, round in circles and eventually most of us fail.

We fail mainly due to an absence of both clear goals and a strategy to achieve these goals. Without a strategy, a goal is a mere fantasy.

'Goal setting' I will cover in another article but here I shall cover 'Strategy'.

Formulating a strategy involves answering four basic questions.

  1. Where are we?

  2. Where do we want to go?

  3. How do we get there?

  4. What do we need to get there?

Where are we?

This situation be measured in a variety of ways. It could be sales, profitability, market share, quality, response time, innovativeness, customer satisfaction, social impact, costs, etc.

Where do we want to go?

Then we need to set a goal or a target. Targets should be slotted for the immediate term, then short, medium and long term. It is good to look ahead but not too much further than one can see. So visualisation becomes necessary (more of that later).

Sometimes one can get bogged down in obtaining precise and accurate data and information. I find it useful to have an approximation and then flesh out details as we proceed to formulate a strategy, discover what goal corrections may be required and tweak the target accordingly. Whilst we all want to be efficient we have to also be effective.

How do we get there?

We will find it highly useful to consult all stakeholders and obtain inputs from people who have a role to play in achieving and supporting the goals.

Discussions must conclude with a decision on final goals, assignment of responsibility and fixing schedules and budgets.

What do we need to get there?

Most important of all it is essential that there is a commitment by the leadership to provide necessary resources as required and agreed upon in the planning stage to the team.

The master plan is broken up into small elements and each element is actively managed at the lowest management level practicable. Reviews being undertaken by the next higher level and so forth.

Drop by drop the bucket is filled. The master plan is nothing but the agglomeration of all the little plans making the little pieces of the jigsaw puzzle bring out the final and complete picture.

We must remember a fundamental law, 'what is not reviewed is not done'.

Reviews are not for blaming people or bashing them up but rather for reviewing the view (meaning 'the plan'). To verify if we are on course, on schedule and budget. If yes then no problem but if not then the leadership has to decide and implement what appears to be the most effective and efficient actions to take and get the plan back on course.

If we take this approach and follow the steps that I have outlined, it will be difficult to fail.

I will cover 'goal setting' in a future article


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