As the coronavirus lockdown becomes tighter, ‘business-as-usual’ has been thrown out of the window. While some companies are dealing with spikes in demand (healthcare, grocery), most are seeing sales fall sharply. The priorities for the leaders of these businesses are clearly to make sure that the company’s short- and medium-term finances are secured, operations and customer service is maintained as far as possible and that colleagues feel safe and supported.

But as the volume of business reduces, you might just find that there is an opportunity to work on your business, rather than simply in your business. In fact, the next few weeks and months might be the ideal time to take stock, consider the future and sharpen your strategy.

In my book First and Fast, I introduced ‘The 6-Day Strategy’ model, as set out in the chart below, and I thought that now would be a good time to share it again.

Most executive strategy sessions lack focus and, despite the high expectations that tend to accompany strategy off-site meetings, it is rare for these ‘away days’ to have a meaningful or lasting impact on the future direction of the business. The 6-Day Strategy gives you and your team a structured approach to the development of your strategy, enabling you to set a series of sub-objectives and to be more precise with the questions and issues you need to discuss. Counterintuitively perhaps, a clear structure also allows you to be more creative and wide-ranging in your thinking.

What’s more, with the use of conferencing technologies such as Skype, Zoom and Teams, you can carry out The 6-Day Strategy remotely, maximizing the collective productivity of your leadership team during your enforced period of social distancing.

Over the coming days I will write further blog posts to give you more details about each of the six days’ activities and to share tools and approaches to help you undertake the work.

In the meantime, I suggest that you go through the overview of the six days, identify some of the specific questions you want your strategy process to answer and use those questions to collate the input information you need to have the best possible discussions and results. You might just find that even that relatively simple process of defining the big questions immediately helps you to start to develop new growth ideas.

The coronavirus is a terrible healthcare, cultural and economic challenge for the whole of mankind, but in time it will pass. As it does, how will your business be in better shape to serve your customers, stand out from your competitors and build the capabilities needed to grow and prosper in the years ahead?

If you would like more ideas on developing and delivering growth strategies that work, please just download my free e-book, How To Be A Strategic Leader

It has 15 powerful lessons and a whole load of practical ideas and tools to help you and your team develop, lead and deliver high-value strategies.

© Stuart Cross 2020. All rights reserved.