Will Your Business Strategically Fail or Succeed?
The economic woes facing South Africa are well documented.
An alarming unemployment rate, one of the lowest entrepreneur generation rates in the world and the extremely high failure rate of start-ups indicate a society that is desperately short of some intrinsic ingredient that could turn this trend around in time to foster sustainable national economic growth.
These economic indicators are also impacting our civil society, as Non Profit Organisations, too, are overwhelmed with the struggle for sustainability and staying afloat.
Many research organisations, pollsters and thought leaders have mooted that the ‘gap’ in knowledge and conduct is the ability to think strategically. The number one reason for business failure is regularly cited as a lack of effective strategic planning, and this lack of strategic thinking is also seen as the primary cause of the low rate of entrepreneur development.
Decades of research by McKinsey and Associates, perhaps the world leader in strategy, reveal that the best indicator of failure was ‘doggedly sticking to the original business plan’.
This led, in fact, to one of the most successful business accelerators, ONSET Ventures, instituting as their first rule that all start-ups must fundamentally change their business model at least once before receiving their next round of funding.
The question remains; how do we cultivate innovative strategic thinking? According to a May 2015 article by McKinsey, the development of innovation, or the ability to “think outside the box” should not be without any constraints or framework since attempting to innovate with any boundaries “overwhelms people with options and ignores established practices”.
The argument is that within basic, simple disciplines that act as constraints, innovation and creativity are actually guided and spurred on. Simple guidelines are necessary; adding just enough structure to help organizations avoid the stifling bureaucracy of too many rules and the chaos of none at all.
By imposing certain elementary constraints on themselves, individuals, teams, and organizations can spark creativity and channel it along the desired trajectory. Instead of trying to think outside the wrong box, a basic framework draws the right box and cultivates innovation within it.
Easibility (Pty) Ltd and their developmental arm, Sustainable Strategy Implementation, completely concur with this finding, particularly within the South African context.
Their answer to this entrepreneurial challenge is met with their programme E.A.S.I.® Entrepreneur. Strategy is not only intrinsically required by every business but one must also understand how to adjust it dynamically with the business’ growth.
Having published their own textbook, where the core, essential disciplines in strategic thinking and project management are simplified and reduced to a fundamental thinking framework, strategy and innovation are cultivated, grown and amplified in a way that is unique to every organisation. Strategy is EASI provides the context and guidelines for the development of true strategic thinking, for the design of innovation that creates value, as well as the core tools for effective implementation. If we could instil these simple rules and disciplines in all South African start-ups, entrepreneurial ventures and NPO organisations, it would seem that the latest research guarantees this would markedly grow the SME sector…and consequently the entire economy.
“Constraints aren’t the enemy of creativity—they make it more effective.”
Learn more about how strategy can be the silver bullet your business or budding idea needs.