Over many years, I held operational executive roles and had the opportunity to speak to many business scalers of ambitious growth companies with respect to their challenges. What strategy execution is concerned the consensus was very clear. It is a roller coaster that goes like this:
January: The strategy just got ready, just. A couple of tweaks on the model still necessary but will take care of this asap. Annual Kick-off meeting: ‘YEAH, baby! It is going to be amazing. Everything is addressed, aligned, could not be more excited, troops are fired up. Killing it! Go, go, go!’
February: Urgh! That large platform changed the ecosystem’s rules and conditions. Let’s better adapt quickly.
March: Damn, the largest client got acquired and the buyer is using the competitor’s solution. Let’s make good for this somehow elsewhere.
April: The main investor asked us to look into acquiring their portfolio company, let’s create a tiger team (hint: investor wants to sell it really badly).
May: Ouch, need to get rid of a couple of folks to look more productive. Alright, doing it. Implications will not be that bad, pick those that suck anyways, the rest will be figured out later.
June: New product release, wow! Clients like it, but it is not the instant game-changer illusioned.
July: Not much going on generally in July. Yeah, sure. Great excuse.
August: Ha, the small competitor got acquired. Call on its clients, be all over them.
September: How are we actually doing with our strategies? Well, skip it. Let’s focus on Q4 to make the numbers for the year somehow.
October: All coming together next month.
November: In December actually.
December: Let’s focus on next year and finalize our awesome strategy..
Repeat …: January: The strategy just got ready. Just. …
and the next roller coaster ride has just started.
100 %? Sounds familiar?
Interestingly, on two panels on the value creation of companies I chaired at events of the Horasis – The Global Visions Community and Mobile Growth Association’s MGS SCALE, the key findings, despite different audiences, included ‘boring is the new cool’ and ‘slow is the new black’ respectively.