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Why it’s time to stop wondering “where should we go from here?”

By on April 14, 2010
FlickrCC image by Pavel P
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Why are start-up strategy sessions so myopic?

I spend a lot of time with companies thinking about the long-term strategy. And in every case, they start with the wrong question.

They ask “Where should we go from here?”. I always answer: “I don’t know.”


Because I don’t know where you want to go.

It’s like you’ve invited me into your car and we’ve driven to the end of the road and you turn to me and say “Which way?”

You don’t get to Manchester from London by picking the most promising direction at every junction. You have a plan.

So don’t ask “Where should we go from here?”

Ask “Where do we want to be in three years’ time?

I think you’ll find planning becomes much easier when you have a destination.

* * *

Still not sure where you want to go? Contact me at [email protected] and I’ll see what I can do to help.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve:
  • Simon Chang

    Makes a lot of sense. Would add that once the destination has been articulated (i.e. measurable stretch goals have been set), many plans still struggle with helping the organization understand where “here” actually is in terms of market position/drivers and competitive gaps. In other words, in a journey, how do you get to where you want to go when you don’t know exactly where you are on the map? And even when the ending and starting points are in focus, an overall breakthrough strategy that drives sustainable competitive advantage is often elusive. Talented people, strategic planning, effective processes, and managed performance must all come to form a winning business.