8 Strategic Realities of the Competitive Business Environment to Embrace in 2017

Effective leadership demands an appreciation for the strategic realities of the competitive global business environment.  As you and your team embark on the new year, remember to consider, embrace and apply these important themes:

#1 – STRATEGIC PLANNING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER

The process of strategic planning has indeed evolved, but it is a mistake to think it is irrelevant. To the contrary, advances in technology and rapidly condensing business/marketing life cycles have made the process more intensive, with enhanced focus on the execution and refinement phases.  Remember, strategy involves four steps, not just one.

#2 – CULTURE IS THE TIPPING POINT REGARDING LONG-TERM SUSTAINABILITY

90% of unsuccessful businesses cite internal issues (not market factors or competition) as the primary reason behind their failure. And what defines a positive corporate culture can vary significantly among your employee base.

#3 – DISRUPTION IS EVERYWHERE

Technology is no longer an industry; it is the foundation of all the rest. Advancements are yielding exponential growth and competition across every sector, industry and function.  Offer appropriate focus in 2017 as to how your organization can leverage and monetize these advancements.

#4 – EVERY STAKEHOLDER MATTERS

Alignment is only possible if every member of the organization – at every level – understands the vision and the contribution they are making to the process.  Future leaders need to be enabled so long as level of engagement and control is appropriate.

#5 – MYOPIC LEADERS ARE IRRELEVANT

To be a leader in today’s business environment, you must have cross-disciplinary expertise across all aspects internal business operations, as well as external economic, political, regulatory and philanthropic considerations.

#6 – ENTREPRENEURIAL MARKETING TACTICS ARE BEING ADOPTED BY THE BIG BOYS

Pioneering solutions like guerrilla marketing aren’t just for start-ups anymore. If your organization recognizes the value, emphasize the concept in your strategic planning. The more out-of-the-box the approach, the more of a guiding force strategy can be.

#7 – PIVOTING CAN BE POSITIVE…AND NECESSARY

There are times to stay on target and persevere…and others to adjust and redirect. The best leaders recognize the difference. Pivoting must be embraced as a critical part of the strategic process.

#8 – GLOBAL TRENDS WILL IMPACT YOUR ORGANIZATION, WHETHER YOU REALIZE IT OR NOT

Surging populism, increased security threats, changes in geopolitical alignments, fintech, population growth (9 billion by 2050), big data, predictive analytics, blockchain, the internet of things (IoT), virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and other trends are evolving by the minute.  If your organization does not maintain a healthy grasp on the progress being made in these areas, your organization has a 0% chance for long-term sustainability.

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