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7 Simple Questions Inform Your Plan

In grade school, I learned that a journalist is supposed to ask and answer the questions:  Who?  What?  Where?  When?  Why?  and  How?

  • Who is it about?
  • What happened?
  • Where did it take place?
  • When did it take place?
  • Why did it happen?
  • How did it happen?

Your Business Strategy should not be a bunch of BS housed in a binder on the shelf behind your desk or stuffed in a drawer.  It needs to answer the same few questions in a short, concise document that can be posted for everyone to see regularly.  It might even be a single page poster or infographic or screen saver on everyone’s computer.  I suggest the order of the questions changes, slightly.

  • Where will your company be in the future?  This is your Vision.
  • Why are you in business?  What is the customer problem or pain you are solving?  This is your Mission.
  • How will you get it done?  This is your Strategy.
  • What specific steps need to be taken to accomplish this?  These are your Objectives.
  • Who is responsible for each objective?  This creates the important  First Part of Accountability.
  • When will you review and complete each objective?  This is the Second Part of Accountability.

Most everyone — you, your investors, your employees will have one more, seventh question?

  • What if we accomplish this — what will be my/our reward?