From Strategy to Execution: A primer on Getting Your Ducks in a Row

From Strategy to Execution: A primer on Getting Your Ducks in a Row

Posted by: Gillian Muessig on Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 12:00:00 am

“Good companies don’t die for lack of being good companies,” my friend Anne Kennedy said, “They die because they lack a distribution channel.”

A thunderclap of insight should have gone off in your head just now. If you’re starting a company with Wizards at the helm, you have all the great ideas and technical expertise any company could wish for. Your board is groaning under the weight of the brilliance of your team. But, you’re going to need an Executor or two to complete the job of building a company around your brilliant ideas. Building a profitable, sustainable, and scalable distribution channel requires a volume of knowledge, experience, skills, and tasks that rivals the technical skills and wizardry or your Wizard/idea team.

Building a company around your idea starts with Strategy and ends with a ToDo list. Here’s how it looks:

Strategy is comprised of the short and mid-range goals you’ll need to achieve your long term goal. Here’s an example –

Mission – Democratize the spread of ideas on the web

Goal – be the world’s most popular and respected search marketing tools on the planet

Strategy – create a community of search marketers, become the central hub for sharing the most valuable insights and cutting edge research in this field, worldwide

Tactics –

  • Perform unique primary research into issues that concern search marketers
  • Publish a daily blog to share the research as well as industry news, research of others, and tactical instructional posts
  • Host an annual event to connect the community we are building online
  • Blah, blah, blah….

Action Items for Primary Research –

  • Answer: what are the Top Ranking Factors according to Google?
    Ask a set of questions to the world’s most influential and wisest search marketers
    Publish this every second year
  • To get the influential marketers to come to answer the questions, engage with them at conferences at the peer level – speak at conferences
    Select your team of experts who are also excellent public speakers
    Get them public speaking support to make them better
    Propose speaking engagements and promote your people at conferences worldwide
  • And so on…

Strategy answers the question – How are we going to meet our goals? Tactics tells you how each of the strategies will be implemented. And the Action Item lists, accompanied by deadlines and assignments to staff will enable you to get the jobs done.

An ancient Chinese proverb states, “the longest journey begins with a single step.” I would add to that, “in the right direction.” Establish your own Strategic, Tactical and Action Item Lists to be sure your company is headed in a direction that will bring you traction and scale.

This post has been published as a chapter in Washington Technology Information Association’s new “Startup Handbook”


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