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Horror Show: How To Spot Bad Strategies

To celebrate Halloween we lift the lid on some examples of strategy monsters... 🧙

  • Lucidity
  • 3 min read

Have you had a strategy that hasn’t worked out before? It only takes the wrong tools, models, or approach, and your strategy can easily become a horror film.

To celebrate Halloween we're going to identify 5 strategy monsters – take a read below and make sure you avoid your strategy terrorising your business by becoming one of these.

👻 The Ghost

The Ghost is a strategy that is rarely seen. Employees hear noises about it, some even claim to have seen it, but mostly these sightings are once a year at best. Even when seen, The Ghost strategy can be hard to make out as it’s shape will not be fully formed.

You know your strategy has become The Ghost when:

  • It is seen very rarely
  • Employees don’t know it exists
  • It is not clear what shape it takes
  • It started well but was left to die

💀 The Skull

The Skull is a strategy that was developed but never fed or nourished, so without a clear plan it faded away. Skulls are useless now as many years have passed since they were originally created.

You know your strategy has become The Skull when...

  • It is done and left completely unattended
  • It no longer has the right information or data
  • It is not recongisable in the way your business is now
  • It no longer has any use to the company

🦇 The Vampire Bat

The Vampire Bat strategy does exist and flies about from employee to employee, consuming their time, energy and resource. Vampire Bat strategies are always hard work, with nobody wanting it to land on their desk.

You know your strategy has become The Vampire Bat when:

  • It feels draining to deal with and is overcomplicated
  • People dread it or any session relating to it
  • It takes a huge amount of time to implement
  • There are no clear owners in the plan

🧟 The Zombie

You know you’ve a zombie strategy is you see it shuffling around, making other parts of the business part of itself, slowing them down and ultimately rotting away. Strategies that have become overcomplicated or slow to progress are classed as zombies.

You know your strategy has become The Zombie when:

  • It’s slow to move and overcomplicated
  • Every part of the business it touches also becomes slow and overbearing
  • It’s more paperwork than action
  • People run away from it

⚰ The Coffin

The Coffin strategy is long since dead, adds no value, but is walked around and shown to people. This type of strategy, despite being of no use, is treated with great respect and rarely questioned. It’s often referenced at company meetings and may even have a memorial plaque on the wall.

You know your strategy has become The Coffin when:

  • It remains unchanged for years
  • Nobody ever questions it
  • It adds no value
  • It's still visited, shown or respected

Scary times! Do any of the above feel familiar? It's too much of a cliché to say who ya gonna call but... well, what ya gonna do?

Avoiding A Horror Show

Avoiding a horror strategy is key to the survival of your business. You need a strategic plan that promotes your growth, gives you focus, and leads your team in the right direction. It's not a difficult process, nor does it have to be nebulous or confusing.

  • Have a clear strategy planning session
  • Regularly review the strategy at least quarterly
  • Attach all activity in the business to parts of your strategic plan
  • Use the right tools for the job (SWOT, PESTLE, SOAR, Five Forces, etc) depending on your needs
  • Come out of your session with a Vision and some Objectives
  • Use some excellent strategic management software (Lucidity!)

With the above a horror can be easily avoided to make a healthy, dynamic and successful strategy for your business or your department… so don’t have nightmares!

Happy Halloween from everyone at Lucidity! 🎃

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