Every company has a name and we are no exception. The name 40 Strategy was built on the concept that Strategic Planning is designed by management about 2% of the year or 40 hours. Work with 40 Strategy to provide expertise and guidance to support you through that process. The 2nd meaning of 40 Strategy about the struggle. The struggle to reach your vision, mission and goals. It is not easy to reach the top.
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you come mature and well developed, not deficient in any way.” – James 1:2-4, The Message
40 Strategy Stories, More than a Name
It is Ash Wednesday. This is Easter week and this year, it will be different for many of us. For some of you, there will not be the community Easter egg hunt. For others, you are in the middle of Holy Week and you will not be able to attend church. Some of you have been participating in Lent for 40 days. Habits are changing…
Every name is strategically important. Every name creates an image that defines who we are and how we make a difference.
The name 40 Strategy was born from two ideas.
The first strategic concept for the name is very real. Most organizations spend about 2% of their time on strategy. 2% of a full year is approximately 40 hours per year. The challenge is many organizations do not have either the time and/or experience to become great at strategic planning and execution because they are so busy at serving their customers, employees, shareholders and business operations. As a result, strategic planning is a weak muscle that does not have the strength to keep the organization on track when obstacles occur. 70 to 98% of strategic plans fail, depending on your research study. We are called 40 Strategy because you can hire our expertise to facilitate this process and increase the likelihood of success for any part of that 40 hour process.
So far, the results have been great. A real difference for many of these organizations. In the journey of strategic execution, one the biggest challenges for organizations is a desire to return to the status quo.
The Struggle is Real
However, Coronavirus, COVID-19 has CHANGED everything. There is not a status quo. Due to the lockdown, everyone has been impacted. Some of you know someone who has become seriously ill from the virus and my sincere condolences to you and their families. Companies have had to close their doors. Many are working from home, with your kids, and your spouse, and your dog. Your new neighborhood park is the daily trip to your supermarket and one more check to see if there is any Charmin available. Others have had the unpleasant experience of laying people off. Perhaps, you are one of those who has lost your job. For most, this is NOT an easy time.
Ironically, in a handful of industries, like Zoom, your business is booming because of the need to support working from home and social distancing policies. You will be the fortunate ones who may earn some of your largest bonuses this year – and will most likely not whisper about your prosperity. Speaking from experience in The Great Recession, this is not a time to be boastful.
At 40 Strategy, everything had started faster than expectations. My first five clients arrived so quickly, I was regularly at the airport traveling to new clients throughout the US. This seemed dare I say it; easy. Real value was being added to clients. However, my personal experience and learning from many other successful entrepreneurs felt uncomfortable because success does NOT come overnight. It is often the result of years of hard work, grit, sweat and tears.
Then the lockdown happened. My 40 days of struggle was about to begin. When ALL of your early clients are located in major cities OUTSIDE of Portland and you are unable to travel, this has been an initial real challenge for 40 Strategy. We were not able to continue the in person facilitation. Some clients have had to undergo significant changes. Others have adapted to work from home.
The 2nd Meaning
And this brings us back to the OTHER reason for the company name, 40 Strategy. The part that is private and personal. The name is about Faith. Faith to endure 40 years in the desert. Faith to endure 40 days of temptation. Faith to endure 40 days of working with social distancing or more. Faith to continue to give the first 10% of your client revenues to charity even when your bookings have been cut in half. Because without Faith and without Purpose, we continue to wander in the desert. The 40 is about Navigating Your Strategy with Purpose, in the good times and the bad.
There is Good News. Temptation was not broken for 40 days. It takes nearly 40 weeks to have a baby. The next generation made it through the desert after 40 years. And life will move forward again and the economy will eventually recover and prosper. But it will not be the same, times will be different and we will have different perspectives. We will learn and hopefully take the opportunity to be stronger, more nimble and wise through these experiences.
We are watching K12 and higher universities adapt to online education, companies converting their facilities to support shortages in medical equipment and courageous leaders making very difficult decisions. Our families and significant others are learning how we really work and our pets are more spoiled than ever. No March Madness, MLB baseball and the NBA playoffs. No kids sports. A lot more board games and puzzles.
With Faith, 40 Strategy is adopting and successfully leading strategic planning facilitations on Zoom. With faith we learn to help our organizations adopt their strategies without being physically present. We faith we pivot, so we can still make a difference.
Have Faith, we will get through this. We always do. Now is the time to pivot to a new future. Find your name that matters, cherish the people you care for and go forth and make a difference. Your faithful and imperfect leadership is needed right now.
Your name, your brand matters. Both of them.
“Hope for the future, is Power for the Present”, Zig Ziglar
Links to Top Articles / Ideas / Websites –
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracking
Full Text of the $2 Trillion Coronavirus Bill (change to funding programs)
Top 10 Work From Home Strategies, by Teresa Wornstaff
Stock market link
Recommendation – In college, I worked for an entrepreneur, Steve Fast, from Fast Utility Refund Service. To mentor me, he gave me a set of 16 cassette tapes from Zig Ziglar and it made an incredible difference in the way that I view life, family and business. Many of the modern day inspirational leaders have learned from Zig. I recently had the privilege to meet his son Tom Ziglar who continues to carry forward these principles to today’s leaders. Check out there website at ZigZiglar.com. Here are two book recommendations to keep you inspired to make a difference.
Order these classics as a Gift to Inspire Someone:
Born to Win, Find Your Success, Zig Ziglar and Tom Ziglar
See You at the Top, 25th Anniversary, Zig Ziglar
On March 19th, 2020 with the Technology Association of Oregon, I had the opportunity to share the first virtual webinar on Managing Strategic Plan in Crisis.
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PS – If you did not get the pre-blog email, here is the Saddle Up beginning.