An Open Letter to C-Suite Executives About Strategic Planning

By Clayton Wood

StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay

A few years ago, I found myself in dire need of some formal C level management skills. I started a company in 2007 that quickly grew into a good sized start up service with around 100 employees. It was a wild ride that included all of the things you hear about; blood, sweat, tears and co-founder drama.

Somewhere after the blood and sweat part, my co-founders and I started to focus on steering the ship ahead in a fluid motion, closing more revenue year over year, and growing ourselves and our team’s talent. Less ‘hiring frenzy’, more ‘making teams more effective’.

If you’ve ever had to do this with no experience. You feel my pain.

Serial entrepreneurs don’t always make the best C level executives. As much as they might want to be, it’s almost critical that they admit their inability and back out of the way of those who have executive experience and have studied strategic planning. It wasn’t until I did this, that the services business grew like clockwork month over month.

Why So Many C Level Executives Aren’t Qualified

In San Francisco, and I believe the tech industry as a whole, it’s commonplace to have a CEO who is also a founder or co-founder. Many times C level executives are the visionary who thought up the idea for the company.

This leaves a vacuum of experience at the top level of management in the company, and when it grows, often times it’s without experience or trained executives. This is what causes a lot of the wild news in Silicon Valley. You hear about investment being wasted away, or founders getting screwed, and a lot of it is because of the lack of experience and maturity in the company leadership.

I’ve also noticed something that’s even worse than inexperienced, not being willing to admit it.

If a founder with no C level experience is going to grow into a great C suite execute, then he’s got to man (or woman) up, and go learn the skills necessary.

It’s About Time Everyone Started Admitting It

Especially in startups, where pockets may not be lined with money, the margin for error is low. Too many mistakes can shut down the company, and pride can ignite that process easily. Often times you see great business plans, but the execution is muddled by something external.

How many great businesses would exist if strategy were executed?

Where would your business be if every strategy was executed as you envision it should be?

The Multi-Faceted Ideals Behind Making A Strategy Work

For me, strategic planning was the biggest challenge as an executive. The SWOT method and mind maps meant nothing to me. So I started reading about them and learned very quickly just how little I knew about strategic planning and execution. As I pulled back the layers of strategic thinking and how to execute it, I began to realize there was a theme.

Working as a group to execute an idea has many different aspects to it. Mental, physical, Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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