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Strategy As A Solution - what you can learn from the Roman military

I help my clients do one thing: save time and make more money.

Sounds simple enough? But the reality is that businesses, however small, are a complex ecosystem of competing priorities. The real skill in running a business comes from understanding how to balance all those nuances to maximum effect.

I call that Strategy As A Solution

The word strategy actually takes its roots from Roman military; the plans of war and battles designed to achieve a long-term aim of world domination.

Perhaps your business isn’t trying to take over the world, but it probably is trying to compete with others to find a space it can occupy. So the roots still hold true that it’s about the smaller battles you succeed in to achieve your overall long term aim.

The problem I often encounter in SMEs is that this planning (the how we will achieve domination?) is the starting point for them. But to me, there are two steps before the strategy is formed that if not well defined will undoubtedly result in wasted time and reduced profit.

How can I be so sure? Because the conflict between competing priorities paralyses decision making, which causes wasted time, that in turn costs more money or loses opportunity for sales.

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The Pitfalls of Using KPIs #2minutetips

The very first in our series of two-minute tips is on KPIs and how the get the best out of them in your organisation.

Our top tips:

1. Cut down your KPIs to the most essential for running your business

  • Link them to your strategy to measure the long term business direction

  • Move short term KPIs down the organisation for the day-to-day management

2. Think hard about what your measures are really telling you

  • What do the indicators actually show?

  • What are the drivers of financial data?

3. Instil positive impact in your KPIs to you don't end up chasing the number

  • Kep an eye on whether your KPIs are driving bad behaviours

  • Use KPIs to identify trends over time and avoid them becoming targets

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