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The Missing Strategic Imperative

The Missing Strategic Imperative

What is the strategic imperative for your integration business?

In the first two parts of this blog series, Joel Harris talked about how strategic planning is essential for your integration business, and it is an activity that integrators should engage in every year.


Today, we continue this conversation with a focus on the strategic imperative.


What do you think of when you think of strategy?


Does the word “change” come to mind?


I have designed, led, facilitated, sponsored, and participated in hundreds of strategic planning sessions in my career, and the primary question that is always posed is “what do we need to change?”


And it generally means what new markets, what new solutions, what new people, or what new endeavors?


“What do I change” is an essential and critical question to ask yourself, but I’d like to suggest one that is even more important:


What must you do to keep the business you have today?


The critical importance of asking this question is underscored when you ask yourself what is important to keep the business I have today:

  • How do you think your customers feel when you constantly bombard them with all your new ideas and solutions when they really want you to be better at delivering the solutions and services you are currently providing them?
  • How do you think most of your employees feel when they are part of the mainstream of the business, but all the press and recognition go to the new start-up or initiative?
  • How do you feel when your vendor partners only focus on growth and take your base business for granted?
  • How long will your business survive on autopilot while you neglect the care and feeding of your core business?
  • How much better could your core business do if you would put the energy and focus into sustaining and improving it, rather than distracting your executive team with the new, “brilliant” idea that is sure to transform your business?


Your core business is either growing or dying and leaving your core business on autopilot is a great strategy to kill it off slowly. 


Here is a simple strategic planning exercise to help you focus on your core business.


Ask yourself: what must I KEEP, what must I IMPROVE, and what must I CHANGE to ensure the long-term success of my core business?


Apply those questions to these dimensions:

    • Customers
    • Vendors / Partners
    • Leadership / Management
    • Sales / Marketing
    • Technical Services
    • Operations / Administration / Finance
    • Personnel

Once you have evaluated your core business and identified what you need to do to sustain and grow it, then you can move on to the incremental question of how I grow beyond that core business.


The strategic imperative for you should be to sustain and grow the business you have today.


This should be a far higher priority than any potential new business you may have in the future.



Navigate Academy Module 20: Key Performance Metrics Part 2Do you want to keep learning?

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Friday, June 18th @ 11:00 am CDT

Title: Key Performance Metrics Part 2

Support for Navigate Academy Module 20 has been brought to you by Solutions360, the leading ERP solutions provider to the integration industry.



Keep Reading:

Strategic Planning Is Essential for Your Integration Business



Keep Reading:

Integrators Should Conduct Strategic Planning Every Year

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