Andy Sacks, CEO, of Judy's Book has an excellent post of what simple questions management can ask themselves to assess their current state of play. If you are an entrepreneur, I encourage reading his post and some of his follow up commentary (Andy's questions below).
- What are the hardest problems in our current business approach - the market issues that we keep struggling with over and over?
- What’s (surprisingly) easy about our business – the things that are working better than expected?
- Where’s the parade? What major trends are we trying to get in front of with our business?
What would our business look like If we:
- Stopped trying to do what’s hard,
- Did more of the things that are easy, and
- Made sure we were in front of the biggest parade we can find?
I think all too often management can get bogged down into day to day details and it is extremely important to take a step back every once in awhile and think a little more strategically about what you are trying to accomplish, where you are going, and how you are going to do it. It is hard to build a great company without answering these questions. The beauty of Andy's questions are that they are simple yet powerful. This reminds me of the good old SWOT analysis where management looks critically at their company and themselves to assess their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This is also a great discussion to have at the board level since having input from others who know your business quite well but are not involved in the daily hand-to-hand combat can be quite valuable.