PreRamble: Along with great questions on business strategy and leadership, NY Times business columnist Adam Bryant asked Jen Guzman, Harvard B-school grad and C.E.O. of Milwaukee-based pet food company Stella & Chewy’s, about her experience in private equity assessing companies/C.E.O.’s.
Her answer prompted a lunge for the highlighter, as I continually seek new value-add applications for the Strategic Overview approach …
Q. You worked in private equity for a time. What did you notice as you were assessing C.E.O.’s?
A. I looked for people who could explain their business and how they were going to succeed in simple terms, as in: “This is my business model. This is why it works. This is what I think we’re going to achieve next year, and this is how we’re going to do it.” Someone who can boil it down to something very simple, to me, really has their arms around their business. If it’s too complex, how are their employees going to follow it?
Bam. Getting your “arms around’ your business …. “boiling it down” to its simplest terms, means that organizational stakeholders – from the C.E.O. on down to the front office – can clearly explain (and buy into) your business model.
The Take-Away: That’s the work of the Strategic Overview. It clarifies and simplifies the business model … providing a doggone, spot-on articulation of the basics that everyone can understand, explain and follow.