Oct 10, 201712:15 PMThe Gray Area
with Donna Gray
It pays to have a strategy, even an unconventional one
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Walking down memory lane, I was thinking about a family birthday celebration where our grandson told us how he spent his 14th birthday some years ago. I remember how we all laughed at his story of how he and his friends organized a water balloon fight — boys against the girls — held on the playground of a local elementary school.
That morning dawned very misty and chilly after a night of thunderstorms, so the boys donned capes of garbage bags, and they made turbans from their tee shirts. Though they tried to look like victors, they had no idea what was in store for them. The girls, wanting to win the match, had formed a mastermind group and together they mapped out their strategy.
While the boys spent a long time filling and sealing over 150 water balloons to get ready, the girls scouted out the location, talked about what could be done, planned their attack, and prepared for victory. Not only did they make more ammunition, they also had placed strategic booby traps of water balloons in tree branches and bushes throughout the playground.
However, once the big battle began, the girls used their ammunition too quickly and ran out of water balloons. This would have put the boys in the winner’s circle, but the girls had a second strategy already in place. Several girls ran to their homes and came back with open cans of tuna fish — kind of smelly but with a purpose. The boys didn’t stand a chance if they wanted to go home without smelling pretty foul.
Strategic planning usually helps a winning team. It takes time to lay the groundwork for a project, whether for work or play, but laying out a strategy helps bring a successful outcome.
In business, we strategize to find and keep customers; to hire and keep good workers; to make/sell/offer quality products and services that customers want to buy; to keep the cash flowing; and to make a profit. Sam Walton once said, “Our goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary.”