For the past few weeks I’ve been struggling to book our family’s summer holiday. My problem isn’t that I have failed to list out our key criteria – I know we want to stay in a villa with a pool that’s near a beach that has access to some sailing activities. (My sons have an even longer list of requirements, but I’m not sure that Disney can build a space station by August.)

No, my problem is that we haven’t yet determined a specific destination. We’d be happy to go to North America, or the Mediterranean, both the western and eastern ends, or even somewhere more exotic. They all sound great.

I find the same issue with many companies.

Executives are very comfortable at setting out the criteria for the kind of organisation they wish to lead – world class, market leaders, high growth, high profit, leading customer satisfaction, fantastic value for money. But they find it far harder to agree specific target customers, specific product and service boundaries, specific geographies and channels, and specific sources of differentiation.

This lack of specificity creates delay and reduces their organisation’s speed. Paradoxically, their inability to make a choice and get going makes it harder, not easier, to take advantage of new opportunities and options that appear along the journey.

So, specifically, where is your company headed?

Me? I’m taking my family to Greece.

© Stuart Cross 2011. All rights reserved.