Every week, we have a team alignment call. It's a mix of fun (question of the week is a silly game we love), status updates, planning, looking at inspiration, and troubleshooting anything we are struggling with or need another set of eyes on.
This week in our call, I was saying to my (100% awesome) team that strategy is a difficult sell for a lot of potential clients. (You know I'm all about real talk in these emails, and this is the truth—it's challenging.) Our clients love the process of strategic work when they experience it, but the idea of going into a collaborative process focused on strategy freaks out some folks.
Thinking on this challenge this week, I've identified a handful of reasons why this is the case.
Strategic thinking asks you to identify bigger goals. This can be really difficult! Traditional business culture demands that we focus on month-to-month and quarter to quarter benchmarks, and long term vision is often sacrificed. So, we never cultivate a habit of identifying our intentions and long term goals. Strategy focuses on the big goals first, which creates some tension in the way we've been trained to think.
Strategic planning often brings up questions we're not ready to answer. This is often my biggest struggle personally: I have a hard time letting unanswered questions just sit—and I'm a strategist! I've managed this obstacle in our own marketing strategy framework by crafting it in a way that's flexible, which allows us to prioritize some elements over others, and revisit those harder to answer questions without losing momentum. But still, I get it, it's hard.
Strategy can feel ephemeral. I actually love that you can't see or touch strategy, but it instead forces us to focus on what matters and not minutiae with minimal impact. However, I know that when it comes to investing resource (time, money, team) it's far easier to see a physical (or digital) outcome—a website, signage, an email sequence—and feel like progress has been made because you can see or touch something. I find it helpful to visualize what the result of this work will look like, how you'll feel when working towards a strategic plan that's aligned with your big goals.
How about you? Do you find doing strategic work scary or stressful? Or are you a weirdo like me who loves this work?
P.S. Yes, our signature service is strategic marketing planning, so do reach out when you're ready to take the leap.