• Rosie Yeo

When things don't go right, should we ditch the strategy?

Updated: Mar 29




In 2020 there have been fantastic stories of people adapting, learning, doing things differently. Some of these have worked brilliantly: events equipment provider Harry the Hirer created a brand-new business - Smart Badge – using technology to increase covid safety and provide rich data for events managers. Hospitality group Merivale established Merivale at Home providing all the ingredients for restaurant-quality experiences at home during lockdown (complete with playlists and champagne options, naturally!).


But sometimes we’ve been creative, we’ve worked hard, we think we’ve covered all the bases – but it just doesn’t work out. Maybe there’s external factors out of our control, maybe the technology underperforms, maybe the audience doesn’t turn up …. does that mean we had the wrong strategy? 


While we talk about strategy as a holy grail

“if we get the plan right, we will have a fantastic future!", the reality is that strategy is not a perfect science.


We can’t control everything and not everything always goes our way.

If you've hit a roadblock, before you toss out your strategy, first ask yourself these three questions:


  1. Was this just one battle we lost but we can still prevail in the bigger war? In which case, onwards and upwards!

  2. Does it tell us something about a gap in our planning? Are we missing capabilities or is more analysis needed? Find something actionable and take action on that element before ditching everything.

  3. Does our strategy still reflect our agreed purpose and mission? If so, hold your focus on that longer-range purpose while learning from this set-back and revising your plan.



We’ve all had our good days and bad days this year, but there is something powerful and uplifting about shifting our gaze to a further horizon and to what ultimately matters most.  

So let’s take a moment to look up, beyond the everyday frustrations and glitches, and remind ourselves of our purpose and some future possibilities. 



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