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    Strategic is Not a Trend

    In a world where things are hot today and gone tomorrow (like THIS or THIS), the concept of "trendspotting" has become "the thing to do," as if you can ride the wave up and hop off before it're a winner!

    You know it's big when Google has their own widget, and that's just what Google Trends is about.

    Similar to social or professional trends, there are loads of trendy words and phrases.  Uber, Organic, Outside-the-Box Thinking, Holistic...these words get used like they're on sale at WalMart, and yes...even I use them sometimes too often.

    One word that borders on "trendy" but if defined and excuted is anything but, is the word Strategic.

    Strategic Thinking, Business Coaching, Mission/Vision Development...the list goes on.  These are all areas that business consultants and business coaches have made millions off of packaging and re-selling to unsuspecting clients.  The difference (which can be difficult to pin down) is not as much on the what, as the "good" strategists use similar terms and excersizes as the "bad" ones...but rather it's in their process and more importantly the goals and objectives of the process itself.

    Let me explain.

    Anyone with a brain and an Organizational Behaviour 101 textbook can help you define your company's mission, vision, and core values.  It's getting past the "we promise to serve customers...deliver value" jargon and defining real, tangible, measureable goals for the company to live and breath.  It's no surprise that we are in the world we are in...

    The REAL test is if your staff, customers and suppliers can define your company's mission and vision without you telling them.

    For example: Joe's Diner is about quality food and a family-friendly atmosphere.  A customer knows that because they love the food and enjoy the family-type repour that they have with the staff.

    The fact is, we cannot afford to allow Strategy to become a trend.  The trend elements (i.e the poser consultant that charges you an arm and a leg to write a mission statement for you) will fade...the market is too smart for's the deeper, life-long, steady-hand decision making that will remain.

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