I am a serial entrepreneur and a dreamer. I come up with new ideas all the time, which comes with good news and bad news.
The good news is that some of these ideas, well under 50% admittedly, are good ones: ideas that could serve my community well, or employ many people or even, shockingly, be profitable.
The bad news is that sometimes (OK… often) my ideas don’t stand up well to the Strategy Stress Test (SST). In fact, last year, I was cut-off from any new ideas unless it was given the OK by my coach and by my wife/business partner. From that day on, I had to include these two individuals in my own SST.
We all need an SST – organizationally, professionally and personally. We need a test that will put our strategic plans through the scrutiny that will ideally help avoid disasters or disappointment in the future.
I would love to be able to present a perfect SST that will fit all organizations and all individuals, but I cannot. Every strategic plan is unique and thus every SST is unique.
Here is my SST for new ideas:
- Do coach Korol and partner/wife Karen agree that this is a good and viable idea?
- Does it fit into the 5 year plan? Something that will take ‘just a few months’ still needs to fit into the longer term plan.
- Do I have the resources to make it happen? Time and money.
- If it fails, what are the costs and other damages?
- If it takes other people to implement, are they on side and do they have the bandwidth?
I am a very small business, but this SST idea can apply to your not-for-profit or commercial organization. For instance, with your next business idea ask yourself:
- Does this fit in to the longer-term plans?
- Do we have the resources to make it happen?
- Can we get everyone onside?
- What are the risks that could make or break this idea?
- What happens if we fail?
We often move too fast and sometimes very recklessly.
The Strategy Stress Test can very well slow us down or better yet… stop us when we need to be stopped.