Why do grown-ups ask teens this question? How do they know what they want to be when they grow up? They don’t even know who they are!
It felt so awkward and uncomfortable to make up an answer every time they asked.
What happens if someone asks you that same question about your business?
When I first started out I had the same problem that I had as a teen, I just didn’t know yet!
As my business go more mature I started to get a clearer idea of where we were going, I could tell a good story about what the future held and why I thought we could get there.
But when I look at that vision, it was pretty fuzzy around the edges.
Making strategic choices about the future of your firm involves saying “No” to some things so that we can say “Yes” to other things.
For example, by choosing a strategy of being a specialist firm it means that we can’t pursue just any piece of work that comes along. By choosing a strategy of being a high-end, boutique firm we need to say “No” to low-end execution-based work.
This is one of the reasons that consultants love the four-cell matrix – it helps us to force the trade-offs. If you choose one side of the matrix, it excludes the other side.
I made a video with my favorite four-cell matrix. I’ve used this with hundreds of agency leaders to help them to see the strategic trade-offs they face.
When you watch this, what questions does it raise? What does it make you think about?
Hit reply and let me know.
Hat tip to George Berlin who made the animation for me.