Tao is a Chinese term meaning the ‘way’ or ‘route’. The Tao of Business Strategy is a simple, highly effective path to creating the kind of business strategy you need; your staff desire; your stakeholders demand and will create benefit for generations to come.
Taoism recognises the interconnectivity of all things. The Tao of Business Strategy recognises that strategy is intertwined with business success and the development of great people who will go on to create great businesses in the future.
Create a great business strategy
There is no ‘easy’ way to create a great business strategy, it will always require hard work; intense questioning and rigorous planning but this Tao provides 3 basic steps to getting it right.
Think of the Roman numerals for 3 (III), joined together creating a top, bottom and supporting pillars. Using this Tao, you will get a solid foundation, a strong roof and supporting struts.
Start by creating and defining your own thunder, your raison d’etre, the very reason why your business exists – the thing you’re passionate about. Getting this right will feed a simple yet effective statement of the future as you see it (your ‘vision’) and encapsulate your reason for doing what you’re doing (your ‘mission’).
Tell the world what you’re about. If they believe in your thunderous why, they’ll support you even when things don’t go according to plan. If you’re passionate about it, you’ll attract others who are passionate about it too. Think Apple here – they don’t have ‘customers’, they have ‘supporters’!
This will explain ‘what’ your business will be doing be it making widgets or tilting the axis on which the world rotates and should absolutely link in to and support the ‘why’.
These will be your ‘objectives’ and they should support your mission and move you toward your vision. If they don’t, then you’ve got something wrong and now’s the time to go back and review where the gap is.
It also covers (in the planning stages) ‘what’s required; what’s expected; what’s within and outside acceptable tolerance, what will be your USP and so on. Leave nothing to chance, create plan A, B, C and so on.
It’ll make clear your expectations to your team and your shareholders.
Now you know what you’re going to be doing (and why you’re doing it), it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to make it happen; how you’re going to get your message to the masses and get the various component parts together.
Emanating from this will be the ‘when’ and ‘who’ but these are logistical considerations not strategic ones. Get the team who can deliver on your strategy not the strategy that your team can deliver.
The natural law of ‘cause and effect’, Karma suggests that if you do good things, good things will continue to emanate from it, a positive ripple from a single act thrown into a still pool of water.
This Tao is designed to ensure that you do ‘good things’ in order that good things are visited upon you, your business, your colleagues and friends, investors, customers and the wider community.
Of course merely doing good deeds is not enough and success will require continually checking on progress; avoiding mission creep and digression, hubris or complacency.
A strong moral compass combined with a defining mission statement and a code of ethical practice combined with the kind of integrity that epitomises professional managers will ensure you stay with the Tao.