Shawn Casemore is an expert on sales, business strategy and growth, who works directly with companies and their leaders for breakthrough strategies in performance. Shawn has worked with Fortune 500 companies such as CN Rail, Tim Horton’s, and Pepsi Co, however he invests the majority of his time working with some of the fastest growing and dynamic mid-market companies, including Bellwyck Packaging, Gerson and Gerson Incorporated and Saje Natural Wellness. Shawn is well-versed to offer insights on how to build winning strategies through the intelligence of well-managed teams. He shared his findings and expertise in the below article.
My oldest son is a huge baseball fanatic. He watches games constantly, a big fan of the Phillies. He also spends hours reviewing baseball card stats, having those of his favourite players memorized.
Despite this, his performance on the field up until this year has just been okay.
This isn’t to say he isn’t a great player – he absolutely is. But he hasn’t demonstrated the ability to be a top player… that is, until this year.
He’s been playing softball for years and pleaded with us this year to allow him to play in a different league, wanting to “throw overhand like they do in the MLB.”
We agreed, and suddenly he is one of the top players on his team. A new team, with new coaches and an entirely new way of playing.
Moreover, we’ve done nothing to support this sudden change. No baseball camps, no additional coaching, only me tossing the ball to him in a friendly game of catch a few times a week. It wasn’t until I watched his game the other night that I realized why he had suddenly progressed from a middle-of-the-pack player to a top player on his team.
We changed our strategy.
For years, the driver has been to have him play close to home. At his urging, we changed our strategy to having him play in a league that he wanted to play in.
Suddenly his skills and personal growth exploded.
During a recent presentation to a CEO group, I surveyed the group to understand how they were emerging post-pandemic.
Generally, all responses fell into one of three categories.
- Those that had stable growth during the last 16 months.
- Those who were completely overwhelmed with sales demand.
- Lastly, those who were still trying to clamber back.
Each faced similar struggles, such as supply chain disruptions, talent shortages and a lack of capacity. Regardless of where each CEO placed themselves amongst these three groups, there was a common agreement. Almost every CEO was working from their pre-pandemic strategy for growth. Specifically, they had not renewed or even reviewed their strategy since this whole thing began.
I shared the story about my son and posed the question. Is it possible that growth you are experiencing, or pursuing, is the wrong kind of growth?
You see, many of us have been working hard, head down trying to “keep the lights on,” so to speak. That’s a good approach to navigating any crisis … initially. At some point, however, we need to re-examine our strategy for growth. Why?
Well for starters, not every sale is a good sale and not every customer is an ideal customer.
We may have had to accept business that’s less than ideal in order to pay bills, but as the global economy resurges, we now have the opportunity before us to breathe and take a fresh perspective.
If you’ve engaged in revisiting your strategy, great! Make sure you continue to review it every 12-18 months. Because changes happen so quickly in today’s marketplace, you need a strategy that is nimble.
If you haven’t revisited your strategy, why not? I think you’ll agree that no pre-pandemic strategy is relevant today. Too much has changed.
Fortunately, you don’t have to run out and find budget to work through a typical lengthy (and often burdensome) strategy. Instead, just consider two key attributes and their impact on your business.
- How well do you and your team understand your current operating environment?
- How well informed are you and your team of the resources and actions available to you?
With these two simple questions you can quickly assess, identify and decide what actions to take moving forward.
No binders required!
So, before you continue charging ahead, clambering to fight the next fire, take a moment to reflect on your strategy.
There is no better time than the present.
To help ease the strain COVID-19 is placing on Canadian Businesses, TEC Canada has compiled insights from global experts to support business leaders as they navigate the challenges and opportunities presented. If you would like to receive similar information more regularly, please click here.