OK, so you’ve started creeping round the web, you’ve watched a few videos of professors explaining strategy, checked out some different resources (and if you haven’t done any of the above, check out Part 1, then come back). Maybe you’ve chewed through the business section of your weekend newspaper – well done. Now you want to get specific about issues that are relevant to your business – how to do that?
- Follow your employer’s fortunes in the financial pages/sites.
- Follow your clients’ fortunes in the financial pages/sites.
- Get hold of published research about the sectors in which your (or your client’s) business operates. Identify the key trends at work in the sector.
- Identify relevant sector bodies (such as the IPA) and check out their resources.
- Get hold of a relevant annual report and, when you’ve made as much sense of it as you can, craft questions about what you need help on and ask someone knowledgeable. Who to ask? If you think it wouldn’t look good to ask at work, consider a relative, friend, neighbour, someone in your community or network.
- Identify potential mentors and ask them if they will support you. Consider how you may be able to help them in return.
- Get stuck into the literature. There’s no shortage of brilliantly written, compellingly-argued, evidence-based case studies if you want to find out about a strategy that worked.
- Contribute to a case study in your business. Applying what you are learning and turning it into a practical contribution is one of the best ways to up your business savvy.