Think of Strategy as Daily Small Steps

One thing that frustrates me about the word “strategy” is that it implies something big. Sure, strategy is both important and broad reaching, but it is really nothing more than a series of steps.

It’s the things you do (and don’t do) on a daily basis that, in aggregate, impact your team’s culture, productivity, and business model. So, when it comes to executing “strategy,” we should really just dive into the details of our day-to-day.

Herein lies the problem: The more efficient we are, the more difficult it is to change the steps we take every day.  Even with a big bold strategy in mind, we’re hesitant to take any unfamiliar steps in our workflow. For every decision we cite precedence, always opting for a familiar step – thus failing to charter new territory.

It is hard to take new steps because each one defies some rule or precedent for how we make day-to-day decisions.

Leaders of change recognize that a great strategy is made up of many steps that, on their own, don’t make sense and often break conventional norms. To innovate, you must advocate for and preserve the unordinary steps required to create something extraordinary.

The lesson here is that the “big idea” is the easy part. Large companies usually know where they need to go to stay on the cutting edge, but they don’t have the fortitude and flexibility to take the right steps to get there. The necessary steps are diverted by the usual steps, otherwise known as protocol. When you only take familiar steps, you don’t travel far.

A great strategy is made up of many steps that, on their own, don’t make sense.

As you seek to implement a bold new strategy, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Eliminate the bias towards “precedent” when you’re building something new. New strategy warrants unprecedented action.
  • Don’t let the new steps you must take be overridden by legal, branding, impatience, or other logistics. While it may seem easy to give in on the little details, any little turn off the road points you in a new direction. The only thing that should override strategy is better strategy.
  • Keep reiterating “why” you’re pursuing change, and the consequences for not changing. Sometimes, especially in established businesses, the consequences of not changing are more motivating than the goals.
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Scott Belsky

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If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 
A great question! Unfortunately, the Church Unique Kit is no longer available in print form. We are working on revising it and updating it into an online experience, but that project is at least six months out. An alternative is to come to an upcoming certification class. There is one May 15-18 in Houston, and October 23-26 in Atlanta.
 
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