There are challenges that only SME’s face because of their size. When small in numbers, the only choice seems to be to have the same people take on multiple & often very different roles in the organization. This may look efficient and money-saving on the surface, but there’s a catch. The skillset required for driving sustainable growth is a very different one than the operations skillsets required to perform some or all of the operational work itself. The ability to create and act upon a well defined strategy, based on a compelling vision and mission statement and congruent with the core company values is, an important differentiating factor between growing & non growing companies.
Mission & Vision
Lots of organizations struggle with defining a clear mission and vision because they do not understand the difference between both. A mission statement describes why the people in your organization should get up in the morning. It can be closely tied to the reason why your company exists in the first place.
A vision, on the other hand, talks about what, hopefully with the help of the organization’s contribution , the world will look like in the future. A vision is often very bold and audacious and sometimes seemingly unattainable.
The actions the people in an organization take, the choices and decisions they make, are very often closely tied to the organization’s core values. Think of values as a set of standards and beliefs that govern the way the business, well, does business. Your company mission statement may and will probably change over time, and even your vision can change. Values rarely change, because they are the (often moral) guideposts you use to make decisions. They have become internalized. They are like DNA.
Strategy & Tactics
Strategy is the plan and, like Mike Tyson said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. That’s were tactics come in. Tactics are the way your are going to execute the plan. It is definitely possible that the strategy in itself is great, but that the tactics are not.
Even if you have selected a strategy, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to look at it periodically. In this fast-paced world it’s recommended to hold quarterly strategy reviews. You obviously don’t do these in a vacuum. Gather key people in your organization and be bold about it. Look at the plan and hold it up to the light of today’s reality. Is everything on track? Where can or should you improve? What can you do as a team to make the necessary changes. And, as always, keep on reviewing. Make a habit of them.