As a business leader or C-suite executive, your job is to look at the big picture. To assess internal and external factors and make appropriate business decisions. Said another way, it’s your job to move the business forward. And if you are like most executives, you’ve made some pretty significant shifts over the past 12-18 months. And, you probably have a few more on your list for 2018.
That’s why, as a business leader, you have to ask yourself …
How do these decisions and strategic shifts in the business impact the story our employees, sales people and partners share in the market?
If you don’t ask this question or do anything about it, the same old story will play out in customer and buyer conversations. Worse yet, the change and growth you are striving to achieve will never materialize.
So, as you look back at 2017 and look forward to 2018, ask yourself …
Are the strategic decisions and changes we are making … coming to life in our corporate messaging and positioning? Or, do we need a new story?
The truth is, if you’ve made material changes in the business in the recent past, it’s highly unlikely that they are part of your corporate story today. At least not in any sort of comprehensive and consistent way.
Has your organization …
- Run into new competitors and players in your space?
- Launched new products or services?
- Enhanced or upgraded your solutions portfolio?
- Updated your vision and go-to-market strategy?
- Expanded into new geographic markets or industries?
- Grown exponentially and experienced a culture change?
These are just a few examples of events that trigger executive decisions, redirect the business and yes … directly impact your corporate story. They all have implications on corporate positioning, value proposition, differentiation, etc.
But in most cases, even though the business has evolved … the story in the market goes unchanged. This just doesn’t make sense.
You invest heavily to ensure the changes are operationalized, yet when it comes to the story employees and partners share with prospects and customers — the message remains the same.
What a waste. What a lost opportunity. Most importantly, what a mistake.
It is important to remember, the degree by which stakeholders understand and embrace the new story and positioning determines just how successful strategic shifts in the business will be. Said another way, it ultimately determines if the investment you have made to move the business forward will actually materialize into growth.
So, if you’ve made strategic shifts over the past year or plan to make changes in 2018 — look at them through the lens of your story. The story you are currently telling in the market and then … the story that needs to be told for these investments to pay off.