Written by: Kiesha King-Brown, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
In my son’s favorite video game, Nintendo’s Super Smash Brother’s, the challenge is to overcome each unforeseen obstacle and get better at your character’s skills utilizing their strengths. To be even better, you must constantly observe and learn the moves of and defeat each competitor until you level up and become the champion. Gamers can track their performance with a score that is constantly providing feedback based on their performance.
If gamers play enough, they can eventually learn to be effective and even beat the game through trial and error. They can make educated guesses or repeat levels to master them. Or they could be more strategic…like my 6-year-old.
I found my son in his room oddly quiet with his tablet. He said he was asking Google to show him videos of how to make special moves on his video game so he could make surprise attacks and beat the game faster. He was literally analyzing and studying the videos and the tactics of his opponents. He was also taking note of how much “damage” or point impact each move had. The gamer’s version of knowing the metrics. Not your typical 1st grader…
While video games may be animated and played with a controller, they are a strategy experience. They are experienced with increasingly complex challenges that require gamers to adapt to in order to continue to be successful. In many ways, these games parallel circumstances and situations business leaders deal with on a regular basis.
Varying challenges are commonplace to business leaders. Just when we think we’ve seen it all, there is another unique and more difficult situation we have to figure out how to lead through. Just like the gamer, a business leader could eventually meet all desired goals through trial and error, educated guesses, or informal plans.
But this gives the competition an advantage.
There also seems to be a misconception with many business owners that their business size means they don’t need an actual strategy. Only 23% of businesses use a formal strategic planning process.
However, a strategic plan is the shortest route between goals and execution. The best leaders invest in self-development, stay aware of what the competition is doing, and track financial trends to be as prepared as possible for uncertainty.
A strategic plan minimizes the impact of uncertainty and detours on the route to execution. Familiar detours include reacting to unexpected changes vs. anticipating them, getting caught up in tasks that could be delegated, engaging in unnecessary meetings, pandemics, etc. A strategic plan brings clarity to execution that enables the vision.
Doing analysis, aligning focus, building prioritized strategy, implementing strategy, and following up enables business leaders to meet goals and maximize success. Businesses that plan grow 30% faster and are 12% more profitable. And…the ability to maximize that success is about the quality of the strategy and its execution, not just the fact that one exists.
Strategic planning and execution is a change-oriented process, not a task. The perspective provided by the process enhances clarity. And, the execution allows leaders and the business to grow, and to ‘level up.’
Differentiated Consulting partners with its clients to provide them Data-Driven, Strategic Plans and Implementation coupled with guidance to improve results. We are positioning our clients for improved growth in the ‘new normal’ and long-term. We’re here for those ready to ‘level up.’
Kiesha King-Brown, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Kiesha King-Brown is an experienced Business Executive that partners to help small business owners accelerate growth with strategic, AI-enhanced consulting so they can spend more time working on the business than in the business, and spend more time doing the things they enjoy. She has an MBA in Management, BSBA in Marketing, and holds certifications in Consulting and Executive Coaching. She draws her inspiration from 20 years experience at Fortune 200 companies in Executive Leadership and HR positions helping leaders build strategies, enhance development, and grow their business. Kiesha is author of "Differentiated Leadership", an Advisory Board Member for a Talent Management SaaS company, and Chief Relationship Development Officer for a Business Development SaaS company.