For some people, breakfast, if they even call it that, is just a cup of coffee. For others, it’s cereal or a cooked breakfast.
But, regardless of what we reach for, we do it to provide fuel for our bodies and minds. That’s the result we want.
Imagine for a moment that you’re an omelette person. You start every day eating your personal favourite – maybe it’s mushroom, or western, or jalapeño.
The result is you go to work feeling good, ready for the challenges of the day.
Fine, but what on earth do omelettes and strategy consulting have in common?
Think of it this way.
While the ingredients required for the filling vary with each person’s taste, every omelette – every single one – needs eggs. And to get eggs you need chickens.
Now I don’t know about you, but when I’m rushing around in the morning, getting dressed and so on, I’m already thinking about what I have to achieve during the day.
When – if – I spare a thought for the omelette, it’s about the result it will give me, the energy to get through the day.
If someone stopped me, in that frenetic time between getting out of bed and leaving the house, and tried to tell me that the chicken and the egg were what mattered, I’d brush them off.
Chickens are the strategy and energy is the result.
I know that to get my result a chicken is required because I must have eggs to make my omelette. But, on a day-to-day basis, it’s the result I’m interested in, not the chicken, the eggs or the omelette.
Business owners want results – growth in sales and profits – the strategies that produce them are just a means to that end.
So they don’t buy strategies; they buy what strategies, successfully executed, will do for them. I have to admit that, when I started consulting, it took me a couple of years to figure that out.
That doesn’t mean to say that business owners won’t stay abreast of developments in strategy development and execution. The ones we work with most certainly do.
But that’s like me reading up on whether free-range, grain-fed chickens are better than battery hens and whether omelettes made with egg whites are healthier than those made with yolks.
Knowing about the chickens and how to make omelettes helps me make choices about how to improve the result I want – in this case getting the energy and staying healthier.
Staying abreast of the developments in strategy and execution (e.g., Roger Martin’s 5 questions, how to build flexibility into the process) helps business owners understand how to improve their results. Strategy is still required even in today’s fast-changing business world.
But, in the final analysis, all they want are the results.
If you enjoyed this post you’ll also enjoy Strategy – Don’t Think It, Experience It.
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