Creating Business Success Through A Well-Defined Strategy
Post by Scott Lewis, CEO, Spartan Investment Group, LLC
The great Peter Drucker was once quoted saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” It’s a great quote and I love Drucker’s work. However, the drive to have a “great” culture, is in fact, a strategy. In this CEO’s humble opinion, the development of strategy is the most important responsibility a C-Suite team has to their company. In his timeless book The Art of War, Sun Tzu states, “Tactics without strategy is the noise before the defeat.” I agree.
Without strategy and the corresponding strategic direction it provides, middle management, those who are tasked with aligning resources and budget to execute operations, would have no idea where to focus. Those middle managers are making decisions every day that directly affect the P&Ls senior executives are in charge of. A clearly defined and well-articulated strategy that is understood from the C-Suite to the front line will position you to achieve maximum return on investment.
To develop a strategy, there must be a structured decision making methodology. We leverage the Military Decision-Making Process, or MDMP for short, which the U.S. Army uses. In addition to being CEO at Spartan, I’m an Army Major whose unit is charged with the training and assessment of MDMP in an operational environment. This has enabled me to embed the process within my company and teach my executives the process.
Our real estate development and syndication company started out doing residential projects. In October of 2016, we made the decision to move into the commercial real estate space. To determine what asset class we would pursue, we executed a strategic decision making session using the MDMP process with the objective of identifying what asset class would be our focus.
What came out of that session was our strategic vision: to build a $100 million portfolio of self-storage projects. Now came the hard part: clarity and articulation. To ensure our strategic vision, which was clear to us, was understood at all levels of the company, we needed to develop strategic goals and objectives. Goals align everyone in the direction of success and objectives map out the steps to get there.