A Strategy Is Useful, When You Use It

A successful business strategy is not attained from a team sitting around a table writing, reading and then refining a plan. Successful strategy has to be turned into action for a company to achieve its maximum potential.

In my last post, I shared how the PESTLE tool is a great way of ASSESSING a business environment and developing an understanding of the rewards and risks surrounding a company. Too often though, tools like this can be used as a substitute for effective action. Effort might go in to discussing and producing a review of the external environment but this, on its own, does not change current or future action. This post deals with the value of ANALYSING the results to take ACTION.

At Know+Do one of our values is simplicity; we specialise in finding clear, quick processes to apply to situations. PESTLE is one of several tried and tested tools that, when facilitated well, enables an assessment of a business' environment.

Last year I worked with a company providing health and social care services, when we completed the facilitation of their PESTLE with the senior staff and Board the group had a clearer, collective assessment of the opportunities and threats they faced. That was not enough though to be of competitive advantage. The analysis, when mapped to their business plan, showed severe threats to quality and finances. However, what they also saw through this mapping was an opportunity to add a new service to their business, using the structure and expertise already in the company. That became a new service to take to market in a growth area.

To make a PESTLE assessment effective we 'dive' into it by asking 4 questions of the results. [DIVE is a quick anacronym shared by Linda Gorchels in Business Model Renewal]. This enables you to prioritise immediate actions or greater potential threats / gains. The 4 questions are:

  1. How DURABLE is the issue?
  2. What might be its IMPACT on your business?
  3. Is it VALUABLE to current or new customers?
  4. Can the issue be EXPLOITED by your business?

Prioritising the data from your PESTLE in this way gives you actions to take to change plans, improve effort and define success.

If you want to know more about DIVE or PESTLE to help choose, and then use, the right tools in your business strategy ask our team for suggestions. Contact us @enablingsuccess or call 0161 2804567