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Do You Have the Right Strategy and the Right People?

I’ve been thinking about some patterns I’ve noticed in my work with a variety of clients over the last several months and although it probably took me longer than it should have what I realize now seems glaringly obvious and is actually a useful way to assess where they are and what needs to be done to help them.  Each and every one of these clients has unique and valuable content, yet some have been struggling and some have been really hitting their stride. Now having great content is not an easy accomplishment by any stretch of the imagination but frankly it’s only table stakes when it comes to leveraging effectively.

There are more differences than similarities in all of these clients (the size of their businesses, their primary target markets, price points, charisma of the thought leader and so on) yet what I’ve noticed applies not only to them, but I believe to any business at any point in time.

Here’s the “a-ha” moment.  I classified each of them based on the combination of having the right people and the right strategy and guess what?  Only those that had BOTH had any chance of succeeding in the long run and building a sustainable and viable business.  OK, so this may not seem like a revolutionary breakthrough but my clients are all amazingly smart folks that are passionate about what they do.  They spend almost every waking hour they have refining their content, developing new and innovative models, researching and are constantly honing their skills and mastering their craft.  Once I was able to articulate to them in a very straightforward way what was holding them back it was easy for them to accept my recommendations on how to get “unstuck”.

So let me first start with some basic definitions.

The Right People- These are the folks that have the necessary skills and experience to execute and deliver based on the specific needs of your organization.  There are plenty of people that will meet these criteria.  What makes them the right people is their level of commitment to the mission of the organization coupled with their ability to work together as a team.  They value transparency and accountability and are highly engaged.

The Wrong People These folks either don’t have the skill set or experience required to get the job done (although this is usually not what makes them the wrong people) or they are not engaged or committed and operate in silos.  They find it difficult to impossible to have candid conversations and do not take personal responsibility.

The Wrong Strategy Is one that is clearly not working regardless of how well it may have worked in the past or currently works for other organizations.  If you are not meeting sales targets, if product development is always over budget and late, if your growth rate is stagnant, chances are you don’t have the right strategy in place .

The Right Strategy Is the strategy that gets your offering to the right market at the right price and a healthy velocity.  It is one that is sustainable, you’ve got raving clients a healthy profit margin and you can scale your business with the resources you have or have access to.

Now my definitions may not be picked super creative or revolutionary but they are straightforward enough to allow you to apply them to your business immediately.  What I’ve found is that if you take the time to view your business objectively (which is much easier said than done) you can easily diagnose where you are and what you need to do.   Ultimately it comes down to changing the people, the strategy or sometimes both.  The question is are you brave enough to actually make the changes that need to be made that are holding you and your content back?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences and urge you to take an hour or two and insure that you’ve got the right people and the right strategy in place or are willing to take the steps you need to to get there quickly.


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Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. It’s interesting that you have identified the wrong people as those who are committed to the job at hand even over having the right skill-set and experience. This too has been what I have seen. People who are in positions that can make things happen and who pay lip-service to getting the job done don’t only hinder/stop implementation, they harm the organization by creating cynicism and making the next strategy that comes along even harder to implement.

  2. You also need to look at interactions between people so that the right people with the right skills support each other. Often the right people can sabotage productivity with poor interpersonal skills.

  3. […] Winick’s blog ‘Thought Leadership Leverage’ about the value of committed people (‘Do you have the right strategy and the right people?‘) – over suitably qualified but less committed professionals – makes good sense: […]

  4. Simple math. Wrong is negative. Right is positive. Multilpy strategy times people.

  5. I think this is spot on. I would add the Right Vision as a preface to your idea.
    Right Vision – one that spontaneously engages the people to want to make it happen
    Glad to see you’ve joined the blogging world and look forward to reading more.

  6. The quadrant model is quite an effective visual model. One area of observation is the word strategy which I believe is misunderstood by many. Strategy is all about thinking and came from the Greek for a general to deceive his enemies. Many people are clueless about thinking strategically.

    Also this does not indicate the source of the strategy. Sometimes sales people think better than sales managers or the C Suite executives and other times it is just the opposite.

  7. This is a great visual, and I agree with Mark G that this model assumes that you have the right vision.

    I think there might be a qualification around right strategy. You can have the right people and the “right” strategy but not enough time to execute it successfully. Sometimes the right strategy involves the “art of the possible” rather than the “best” strategy.

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