Companies tend to confuse two distinct yet equally important aspects of business: operational realities and strategic initiatives.
Operational realities are those things which must be done. They are the basics in business, and include things like setting up regular financial reporting and day-to-day processes.
In a young, entrepreneurial company, because there’s so much that needs to be accomplished, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking that operational realities are the same as strategic initiatives. It’s easy to think that these operations propel you forward. In reality, they just keep you from collapsing.
Strategic initiatives, on the other hand, are all about driving the company forward. They power you along the path toward what you’re trying to accomplish. They carve the way to achieving your vision.
During the entrepreneurial years, it’s essential to keep your strategic initiatives distinct from the operational realities which have to happen. It’s not enough, as a budding, fledgling company, to just have the basics. You have to be pushing forward to your vision.
Momentum is such a key aspect of business, and that’s why your strategic initiatives are key. They’re the fuel.
It’s daunting to go through an annual planning process with an entrepreneurial company. There seems to be so many initiatives that need to be undertaken and the list seems so long. What will differentiate you as a company is whether you’re able to balance consistent progress against the realities with a passionate focus on strategic initiatives.