O'Reilly logo

Brilliant Manager, 3rd Edition by Dr. Nic Peeling

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

CHAPTER 3
Visions,
strategies
and plans
M03_PEEL3231_03_SE_C03.indd 45 20/09/2010 14:45
M03_PEEL3231_03_SE_C03.indd 46 20/09/2010 14:45
I
n Chapter 2 I said that a brilliant leader should create a
credible vision of the future. This vision should encompass
both the future of the team and the future of the team’s
offerings. The four key elements of this vision should be:
1 the team’s strategy;
2 an action plan for implementing the team’s strategy;
3 business plans for developing new and existing offerings;
4 action plans for each offering.
You must provide the creative input to formulate this vision of
the future, but I can help by providing a structure that ensures
you consider many of the key questions that need answering.
However, a word of warning, every strategy and plan will be
unique, so be alert for issues that affect your team and its offer-
ings, which are not highlighted by my generic template.
Developing a team strategy
I divide a strategy into eight different sections.
brilliant
tip
Answer all the questions posed in these eight sections very quickly.
You are looking for the ‘aha!’ moments when the question has
M03_PEEL3231_03_SE_C03.indd 47 20/09/2010 14:45
48 brilliant manager
1 The current financial position
Using a maritime navigation analogy, your strategy can be con-
sidered as the way you plot the future course of your ship and
whether you reach your intended destination. Obviously you
cannot plot a course if you don’t know where your current loca-
tion is.
Do you understand what your current financial position really is?
If you have recently taken over a team then there is a high prob-
ability that you do not understand
the current position, and it is also
quite likely that the previous team
leader didn’t understand it either.
Even if you have been running your
team for a while it is possible that you do not have an adequate
understanding of your current situation.
You should consider, at the very least, the following issues.
What are all the revenue streams that generate the team’s
income? What do you know about the properties of those
revenue streams: are they likely to continue into the future,
are they likely to grow or decline, how predictable are they,
what margin do they generate, etc.?
What is your cost base? How is it structured? Which costs
are fixed and which are variable? What services do you pay
for from your parent organisation? Are there hidden costs
which your organisation pays for that are not attributed to
your team?
helped you spot something that needs to be added to your SWOT
(Stengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis, and
that may need to be part of your strategy and/or action plan.
do you understand what
your current financial
position really is?
M03_PEEL3231_03_SE_C03.indd 48 20/09/2010 14:45
Visions, strategies and plans 49
How much profit did your team make last year? How much
profit are you predicting for this year . . . and are you on
target to achieve this profit? Is cash flow a major issue, if so,
do you understand your cash flow?
Do you know how much profit/loss each of your offerings
are making? Loss-making offerings will need urgent
attention.
Who are your customers, what revenue do you expect to get
from them this year, and how does this compare to revenue
in past years?
Many of the remaining seven sections of the strategy will start
with additional elements of your team’s current position.
2 The external environment
Using a sailing navigation analogy again, you cannot navigate
without knowing about winds, currents and the roughness of the
sea. You will also be very interested in weather forecasts and tide
tables. Finally, you will also need good charts to spot sandbanks,
reefs, etc. Failure to understand the external environment is an
easy way to get shipwrecked . . . and the same is true for your
team’s journey into the future.
One of the easiest traps that a team can fall into is to become
inward looking. A simple way to remind yourself of this danger is
brilliant
tip
Do not be surprised if your organisation’s accounting system does
not provide you with much data that is helpful in establishing
your current financial position: it will have been set up to answer
different questions. Most managers/leaders have to keep their own
accounts.
M03_PEEL3231_03_SE_C03.indd 49 20/09/2010 14:45

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required