How is your Business? Mario Pretorius – Tip 1

How is your business? It’s a question frequently asked – whether it be in the boardroom, in an investment forum, on the squash court, or over a dinner table. “HOW IS my business!” would be the reply of corporate strategist Mario Pretorius. It’s the HOW that drives the business model he says in this, his first daily tip to corporate management (taken from his new book “The Unconventional CEO: Common sense outside of conventional Management thinking”). GK 

Mario PretoriusThe business test for strategy is the answer to the question: “HOW?” Many temptations are disguised as wonderful opportunities. The do-ability, the feasibility and the good-for-us factor is decided on the “how”. Do we have the expertise? If not, HOW would we get it; if we get it. HOW will we generate the cash to pay for it….. the list is endless. But the biggest HOW’s must be answered in a persuasive, cogent way. There is no movement if the Organisation is not capable of executing strategy. The rest is a self-fooling wish list and dreams to a higher pay rung. The business model hinges on the HOW. Often the better strategy is just improving the HOW incrementally, ever forward to nose in front of a competition whose week-long jamborees on ‘Strategy sessions’ generate more questions than answers. Your HOW IS your business, any change in HOW must be carefully weighed. There are many unintended consequences – usually more detrimental than Santa Claus ones. I saw an entire presentation on capturing a 5% market share for a new printer line in a Protea Data presentation demolished in 2 words. Chairman Brown asked, on the 5% target: “Why?” “Because without getting to 5% we would not have a feasible business and we’re sure to get there” “HOW?” The demotion came swiftly afterwards. Dreams are not strategy; they are visions and illusions of the future unless the crucial question is answered: HOW?

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