It was a free 2-hour strategy session with a consultant in which the Sweat+Fit team found out how little they know about strategy. “Strategy” is a weird concept that often means something different to everyone. Sure, we all think we know about what a strategy is and how to develop a strategy. That is until we must explain to someone what our strategy is.

The group struggled through the session. The questions should have been easy ones….What are your 5-year goals? What are your 3-year goals? What are you doing in the next 90 days to get there? What are your core values? How do you factor in your mission when talking about strategy? It was head-spinning.

Sweat+Fit had a talented executive team of three but had never really taken time to discuss strategy. Sure, they had a few long meetings where they would consider some initiatives, but the strategy was left to the CEO. Surely, she had a plan, right?

Too many organizations are being passively steered. They have initiatives, but are those initiatives leading them where they want to go?

After this session, the CEO of Sweat+Fit dove into anything and everything they could find on strategy. Eventually, they came to a consultant who had a “system” on developing strategy. Together, the team outlined on one sheet what their mission and core values were. This wasn’t a simple process, but it was the start of their strategy.

From there, they determined what they wanted to future to look like and broke that down into what needed to be accomplished in the next 90 days. What the team had done was put a system behind their strategy. They met weekly to discuss their progress and challenges.

Lastly, the organization clearly defined responsibilities and roles. For instance, while the sales process had always been something the entire team was involved in, no one person oversaw the process from start to finish. That changed, with the CEO taking the lead. While she delegated some pieces of the process out, ultimately, the process was her responsibility.

The result was less wasted time in the organization and a shared mission. No longer did “special projects” derail any of the team members. They all were crystal clear on what the future vision was and what steps must be accomplished to achieve it.