Lesson 7 – Strategic Thinking – A Video Guide for Startups

Strategic Thinking

Strategic Tasks

A strategy is only as good as its implementation.  Many strategies are left on the shelf because the small business owner get too involved in the routine work of running the business. They react to all the urgent items. They don’t have any time left for the big picture – for working on their long term goals. They can always do that “tomorrow” (but of course they don’t).


Strategic Thinking

This video shows how to tackle this problem. It integrates the strategic tasks into the day-to-day routine so that both the long- and short-term items are completed in a reasonable time.  There’s more information about this topic on the other side of the video – but watch it first! Click on the center of the picture below to watch the video.



The video highlighted several important points that are worth repeating for every startup owner. The most important is this: you have to have an “implementation system” (the book). If you don’t have that you’ll just react to crisis after crisis.  You’ll never put the systems in place to prevent them happening or deal with them automatically. You’ll also find it difficult to move to the next level. Do you recognize this description: you’re rushed off your feet and you’re not making progress towards your long term goals? If you do then you definitely need to implement the time management system described in lesson 5 and lesson 6!


Your Personality

Some people find time management easy – they follow the guidelines and get the benefits without any trouble. Other people struggle. It’s probably related to their personality type. I believe that many business failures could be avoided if the owners had just developed the discipline to follow the steps outlined in these videos.


Feel the Power

If you have not yet begun to use the planner and harness its power, I’d strongly advise you to give it a try. You may find it difficult at first but it gets easier with practice. Eventually it will become second nature and you won’t know how you existed without it.


Video Transcript

Here is a transcript of the video for those who prefer to read. You might also be able to use this to help translate the video into an alternative language.


Strategic Thinking

  • How are you going to implement your strategy?
  • And how will you know if you’re making sufficient progress?

I’m Pat Hough I’m going to answer those two questions in this short video.

In the last video we saw how to schedule meetings and tasks. Now you’re going to use the same techniques to implement your strategy. But why do you need to implement a strategy?   Because it gives you the best chance of success – it’ll help you stay ahead of your competition and succeed.

In a previous lesson we looked at a simple strategic model. We started with a mission statement. Then we created a strategy to achieve the mission. Then we identified goals that had to be achieved – and finally there were task to achieve each goal. If these tasks aren’t carried out the strategy will fail.

Let’s say you have this goal – and it needs to be achieved this month:
Set up a business website.

First decide on the tasks that need to happen to achieve the goal:

  • Select a domain name
  • Buy the domain name
  • Draw up requirements
  • Draw up specifications
  • Select a web developer
  • Hire the developer
  • Monitor progress

Now you have to decide on the sequence of tasks – what comes first? If any of the tasks can be done quickly schedule them for today. Schedule the remainder of the tasks before the end of the month.

Each day prioritize the strategic tasks. Many of these are likely to be in category A. You won’t have done them before so they’re not in your comfort zone. If they fall into category B label them with the highest importance to ensure they’re completed on time.

Now we’ll add a little technique to track progress. Put a box like this next to each action item. When you complete the item draw a tick in the box. If you’ve worked on something but it isn’t completed put a dot in the box. If you reschedule the item add an arrow to indicate it’s been taken forward. If you haven’t worked on the item put an X in the box. If you reschedule that item add an arrow.

Once a week look back and see how many items have been rescheduled and how many X’s you’ve drawn. This will give you feedback about how effective you’ve been – particular with the strategic items.

So, to recap:

  1. Break down each Goal into tasks
  2. Schedule the tasks in the planner
  3.  Categorize each task
  4. Complete or reschedule each one
  5. Use the check boxes to monitor your progress

That will ensure that you’re moving closer to achieving your goals. You can also see where you’re having any difficulties. That will help you focus and correct the problem.

That’s it for now. Thanks for watching,
until the next time

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