From The Art of War; Sun Tzu said “The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.”

As a leadership team and company, how often are you performing strategic planning? And in that Strategic Planning, how often are you confronting the brutal facts? That’s right. Not keeping your heads buried in the sand and hoping that a Netflix or Uber doesn’t come along, but keeping up with the trends in the industry.

One of the disciplines of Great Companies from Jim Collins perennial classic, Good to Great. Is holding the strategic council. A group of 5-10 members of the company to do strategic thinking. For the council one of the most important disciplines is to look at over all trends including technology, competitors, economics, etc. The question I ask each leader is; Who or what will be your Uber if you were the NYC Yellow Taxi?

The key here is to quarterly look at what’s happening trend wise in the world, then build in strategies to keep ahead of competitors or disruptors. This process pays big dividends. A local cab company found that Uber was coming online in 2012. They developed an app to compete that actually failed, but the technology developed allowed them to pivot into an ancillary industry and how they’re looking to sell five years later with a five times earnings valuation. Had they not held their strategic council and confronted the brutal facts, Uber would have taken them down. Their core business of taxi cabs has declined 60% since the invention of ride sharing services like Lyft and Uber.

If you and your company would like support in the Strategic Planning process, feel free to call for some helpful advice and tools to make it go well.