My wife and I have started a new hobby of collecting and reselling small antiques. We really enjoy “the hunt,” but one of the most rewarding aspects is our increased knowledge of 100 year old household tools. One such item was a nickle/steel handle with a cone cup on the end. The cone cup had a butterfly handle on the end of the cone that turned blades inside the cone, scraping the sides.
Almost nobody guessed its function, which was a Delmonico ice cream scoop.
Today, the basic operation of the Delmonico ice cream scoop is the same, scoop it up, and scrape it out.
The McKinsey Quarterly published an article by Bradley, Hirt, and Smit entitled Have you tested your strategy lately? The article listed ten tests of which most companies strategies failed. The first test was the most comprehensive, “Will your strategy beat the market?”
Looking at my Delmonico ice cream scoop, I question whether any of today’s companies can execute a strategy that can produce a product or service that can be an industry standard 100 years from now.
A major complaint about American corporations is that in the last 25 years, they have been striving for the short-term profits, and not planning for the distant future. We have seen that in the auto industry.
But what about small/medium-sized business strategies? Will they follow in the footsteps of the some of the large corporations?
That all depends. If you are like most small/medium-sized businesses, you are only concerned about Sales and whether you have enough cash to meet payroll.
Bradley’s ten tests may be a good place whether you are in the business plan or seasoned stage. In my experience, most businesses of these sizes could not pass three of these tests.
Managers and owners must review their strategies continuously during its implementation. Too many fall into The E Myth (Michael Gerber) and have the business run them, and not them running the business. Or as Gerber puts it, ” working on your business” as to “working in your business.”
When it comes to strategy, Bradley et al proclaim that it is not the newest strategy that a business owner should find, but flaws in their current strategy.