StrategyHero is built on years of research into how best to build, grow, and manage startups. We've read hundreds of books on the topic, worked with numerous companies, and consulted with countless experts to build a best-in-class tool for strategic planning, execution and alignment.
Over the course of the past several years, we've discovered a few key insights into how companies – and, in particular, startups – deal with strategic planning. Here are some highlights from our learnings:
- The hardest part of strategy is applying the tools. Ever since the days of Peter Drucker, experts have been tirelessly writing about strategy. They've developed methods and frameworks for breaking down and building out strategy in new and emerging businesses. Despite all of this knowledge being written down, many of these ideas are difficult to implement.
- Startups with experienced and disciplined executives perform better. When startups bring in seasoned executive leadership, they approach strategy in a more disciplined and systematic way. Discipline in strategic planning, which includes asking the right questions, is an essential ingredient to successful startup building.
- Setting goals without a strategy doesn't work. We've seen too many startups adopt goal setting methodologies like OKRs and SMART goals without having a strategy first. This is a mistake that leads to misalignment and wasted effort.
- Many startups have a vague sense of their strategy. Or no sense at all. Strategy needs to be clear and specific to work. It needs to ask -- and then answer -- the right questions about the customer, the market, or the facet of the business being addressed.
- Strategic planning in a vacuum doesn't work. It is not possible to build a successful company without a clear sense of reality. Defining a strategic plan based on a world that doesn't exist wastes valuable time, money, and social capital. Successful business leaders challenge their sense of reality by consulting with customers and experts to understand
- Most strategy issues can be solved with the right process. While getting strategy right is time consuming, it does not have to be difficult. Teams that address strategic planning, execution and alignment with the right mindset and a coherent process find more success when building out their strategy.