Are you a CEO, Board Member, Business Owner or Senior Manager?

If you are, read on. If not and your boss is, share this with them.

Q1. What percentage of your time is spent on external issues (markets and customers) rather than internal issues (processes and activities within the company)?

Strategy authors Prahalad and Hamel (P&H) found that 40% of Senior Management time is typically spent on external issues.

Q2. Of the time spent looking outward, how much time do you spend considering how the world may change in the next five or ten years, rather than responding to current issues (e.g. a competitive pricing move or winning the next contract).

P&H found only 30% of Senior Management time is spent on considering longer-term changes.

Q3. Of the time spent looking outward and forward, what percentage of time do you spend working with colleagues to build a deeply shared and well tested perspective of the future, as opposed to a personal and idiosyncratic view?

P&H and others found that only 10% to 20% of Senior Management time is spent working on strategy with colleagues.

Successful strategy development and positioning requires adequate time be spent looking outwards with others at external issues, and yet, it seems so few Senior Managers engage strategically!

If we do the math…

40% x 30% x 20% equals just over 2% or 40% x 30% x 10% equals around 1% of time is spent embracing strategy in a purposeful way.

In our experience, businesses and firms that engage strategic advisors and facilitators on a regular basis, are much more likely to be successful and have a far greater chance of being here in 5-10 years.

It’s never too late to step away from your business and invite an outside expert in, to help work on the business. Time away from the business sometimes feels like money lost. However, time spent on getting smarter and creating a stronger strategic future will deliver the attractive income streams of the future.