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Strategic Questions

strategy Feb 11, 2011

Former Avaya CEO Louis D’Ambrosio’s frames strategic planning this way: “We’ve established three key priorities: strategy, execution, and culture. What’s most important is the interrelations between the three.” Given the formation of your go-to-market strategy and its objectives, actions, and resources, four question areas will arise:

  • What major issues must be faced?
  • What key decisions must be made?
  • What information are we missing?
  • What expertise or “know-how” will we need to carry out this plan?

First, identify major issues as they surface, noting where “gaps” still exist. These issues are either internal or external roadblocks to success. Some issues will require conversations or actions to mitigate their impact on your plans. In other cases, these issues might not be obstacles but rather create other, unintended complications. For example, a particular launch may negatively affect a long-term partner because it has competitive elements within it. This doesn’t necessarily hinder your go-to-market efforts, but it has ramifications in other aspects of your business.

All issues require one or more decisions – even “do nothing” is a decision. So, break down these major issues into key decisions that need to be made while going to market. Frame the decision along with its stakeholders and its impact on the key factors in the overall strategy.

Finally, what information and expertise are needed to execute your plan? How will you fill these gaps? All elements should be articulated and measured in terms of their relationship and interrelation to the strategic and tactical objectives of your go-to-market messaging process.