B4 People & Strategy Day

It’s People & Strategy Day at B4 so we’re highlighting some recent and not so recent articles and press releases posted by B4 members over the past year or so. Some content is pre-COVID but still relevant so get stuck in for great advice from our growing community of experts.

Thanks to Steve Cook, Helen Money, Alison Haill, Stephen Clarke, Linda Flanigan and Jo Bentley for their Top Tips for 2021 strategy contributions below.

Steve Cook

Understand what strategy really is and try not to confuse it with planning or tactics.

Understand that Purpose, being purposeful is much more than having a fluffy, sexy positioning or brand. It cuts to the heart of strategy and organisation – and leadership.

Understand how to align Purpose, Strategy and organisational conduct. In this lies planning, tactical activity and focus.

Don’t think of culture as something that grows by itself. It doesn’t. It is directly and carefully created.

Purpose and culture may be seen as irrelevant by some today. This is short term thinking because both will be highly relevant to customers and talent in the very near future.

Focus relentlessly on what is going on outside your business. This is where the true insights about how your business strategy forms reside.

Beware of data. It is the new gold but only in the right hands and in the right uses. In the wrong hands data is more like nitro glycerine.

Make coalition building an essential part of strategy development, not a tactical ‘when the needs must’ activity. You will be measured, in part, by markets on this.

If you are a leader, think strategically all the time – no matter how big or small your business is.

Embrace change. You have to now. Think like a leader, not a manager.

Accept that no-one really cares about you or your products and services.” Make changing this the core of your strategic thinking.

Be brave, challenge and build strategy with this mindset.

Read Sun Tzu – ‘The Art of War’, Alex Edman – ‘Grow the Pie’, Max McKeown – ‘The Strategy Book’. And if you don’t already, learn to play chess – it’s never too late!


Helen Money

“Companies looking to follow a work from home strategy beyond COVID should provide employees with wellbeing support suited to the new environment. For example, employees may benefit from healthy breakfast and lunch hacks to support their productivity through the day and wellbeing

Alison Haill

Strategy means keeping your eyes on your vision and goals as you choose your actions today. Walk your talk and live your vision now. Let your people see you as a role model.

Stephen Clarke

Attempt to understand the strategy of your competitors, your supply chain and your investors – this could affect you own strategy!


Jo Bentley

“Don’t leave your success up to chance in 2021, get your strategy defined.

Do you ever question why some businesses are more successful and outperform others? And what’s the key differentiator to winning market share, achieving profitable growth and creating high performance teams ?

While many business owners have some form of business plan only 33% of them have a well defined strategy they can execute on, and there’s a vast difference between the two.

Tracking and reporting the progress of your strategic plan during quarterly reviews using scorecards, dashboards, metrics and targets is critical to businesses success.

Metrics need to include conversion rates, lead generation while consistent reviews of your marketing strategies and cash flow are a must”


Linda Flanigan

Be aware of how you see yourself and change any self-doubt or insecurity thoughts that are creating your reality.  You are the one who creates the boundaries of your capabilities.     If you lifted the lid on all those limits you place on yourself then just what would you be capable of achieving?   Look at how you view yourself and start to practice ‘Acting as If’ you can achieve X or be confident doing Y or whatever might be holding you back.   Actually see yourself as that person.  Notice the difference in how it makes you feel.” 

Keep your focus.   Look at the things that break your focus and remove those triggers.   Picture your attention system like a glass of water:  When it’s still, it’s easy to see through the glass and concentrate on one thing.  When you hit it, everything is disturbed and takes a while to calm down so you can see clearly through it.  Over time the water evaporates and by the end of the day you’re left with nothing.  Tune out those distractions that can happen just when you might be having a moment of brilliance and be more in the moment so that you can be creative and focus on getting the important stuff done.   Just like an athlete put yourself in the right mindset zone before you begin something.    Meditate before you start – with practice you can do this within a couple of minutes – you’ll work better, be a lot more productive and a lot more creative.

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