6 Vital Relationships Leading to Stronger Strategy

Mike BrownBy Mike Brown of Brainzooming, and presenter of the TMSA Webinar on Strategic Relationships: "Creating Great Business Relationships" > Details

A smart, well-informed business person has to interact in circles beyond those who share similar experience and backgrounds to his or her own. Reaching out to individuals and audiences with different perspectives on customer, industry, and business issues is vital. Although the crunch of business pushes for shorter thinking and decision making cycles, taking time to incorporate diverse perspectives into your strategy leads to more solid decisions.

Developing fruitful connections with diverse audiences takes time, however. Thus it is important to build strategic relationships sooner than later, well before you need them.

What varied relationships should you cultivate for sufficiently diverse strategic viewpoints?

Working with clients to develop strategy, we recommend three perspectives and three distinct voices. Based on hundreds of strategy assignments, this framework ensures including perspectives that constructively expand and strengthen strategy.

Three Strategic Perspectives:

Here are brief descriptions of the varied perspectives we recommend including.
1. Individuals with Frontline Business Experience. These are people in operations, sales, customer service, and other areas with profit and loss responsibility or direct customer involvement. They provide insight into important business issues, opportunities, and challenges.

2. People with Functional Expertise. These individuals are knowledgeable in important support areas in any organization. They can supply insights into capabilities that support the organization’s objectives and strategies.

3. Innovative Thinkers. This final group includes individuals that, regardless of direct knowledge about business operations or support processes, see opportunities and business situations in unconventional ways.

Three Types of Voices:
Three types of voices provide different viewpoints on an organization, its customers, opportunities, and challenges.
1. Familiar Voices. These individual are known for their long-term engagement with the organization and its industry. They have significant networks and a rich understanding of relevant opportunities and issues.

2. Challenger Voices. People in challenger roles are known for constructively questioning the status quo. They focus on finding answers to persistent issues and are not satisfied with simply adopting the popular view.

3. Emerging Voices. These perspectives come from groups and individuals experiencing recent visibility in an organization or marketplace. Though still outside the mainstream, their rapidly growing importance means they represent a perspective company leaders are wise to consider.

Putting It into Action
A single individual or group can certainly fit into more than one of these categories. As you assemble a team to work on any type of strategic initiative, make sure each group is well-represented. Doing so places you well down the road to a stronger strategy and improved implementation success.

Mike Brown of Brainzooming, will present during the upcoming TMSA Webinar on Strategic Relationships: "Creating Great Business Relationships," which takes place April 30 at 11am Central. This webinar is FREE to all TMSA members. > Details and Register

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