Did you see Hamilton cruise into victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix? If not, check out the link here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/30168481

Hamilton had a strategy in place: he “completed the first lap 1.2 seconds in front, and inched clear until he was 2.7 seconds in front by the time he made his first pit stop on lap 10, always giving the impression of being in control.

The gap stayed at about that margin until lap 23, about half-distance, when Rosberg suffered a failure of the energy recovery system on his Mercedes.” “From then on, it was a matter of damage limitation for Rosberg, who asked his team to tell him what he needed to do to finish in the top five – the result that would give him the title should Hamilton retire. But lacking 160bhp for 33 seconds of the lap, Rosberg was helpless as he slipped down the field, battling problems with his brakes, which were put under extra strain as a result of his problems.

When Rosberg hit trouble, Mercedes put Hamilton's car into conservative settings and the tension he was feeling as he neared his goal became apparent when he said: "Please don't turn up the car – I am comfortable. I can go faster if I need to." Williams took a shot at beating Hamilton to the race win by putting second-placed Felipe Massa on to super-soft tyres for a short final stint at his final stop with 12 laps to go. Massa closed to within nine seconds of Hamilton with eight laps to go and kept reducing the gap but Hamilton controlled his pace to ensure he had plenty of margin in hand to keep Massa at bay.”

The rest is history! Bottom line, he had a strategy in place and tactics to deploy to meet that strategy.

But ‘strategy’ is one of those words that gets widely used at work without being truly ‘strategic’!

This may be because a robust, winning strategy can often be very hard to create.

Here are 5 helpful thoughts from our experts at Creativedge to guide you (hopefully!) into victory like Hamilton:-

1. Doing is harder than thinking

Many senior managers work really hard to develop excellent strategies and then wonder why they fail. Successful execution usually requires acceptance and belief from all those who have to implement the strategy not just its creators.

Consider sharing your strategic deliberations with everyone involved in its implementation; invite their participation as appropriate – and at least their comments.

2. Action Plan

Strategic development can only happen with time-bound actions and agreed responsibilities.

Because many busy people hate to volunteer a thought or idea if they think they are going to be landed with the responsibility for developing it, why not consider drawing up an Action Plan at the end of your planning session, rather than as you proceed?

This will then help you to make sure that the necessary actions are evenly and reasonable distributed.

3. Eyes up from today’s detail

Members of functionally organised, operational and executive Boards are often most used to dealing with immediate issues.

‘Dreaming and scheming’ about how the world MIGHT look in a time still to come, does not always come naturally to many. So make sure your strategy development team is encourages to look ahead, to lift their eyes above their immediate horizons and to ‘look around corners’. Work on the business not in it!

4. Break the mould

Winning strategies rarely involve ‘doing what we always did’ – because then you ‘always get what you always got!’

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t ‘stick to the knitting’. Rather, ask yourself whether the way you ‘knit’, where you ‘knit’ and what you ‘knit’ is still appropriate, even whom you ‘knit’ for and who should do the knitting? (You may even ask why you ‘knit??!).

To develop a winning strategy often means doing things differently, as does all improvement.

So encourage your colleagues to think outside the ‘well-established’. If your senior influencers may not like this or hold ‘self-evident’ truths that may possibly be worth an updated challenge, show them these tips.

5. Keep it in the room

Successful strategy development requires trust and respect, that each and every contribution is allowable (and probably valuable) – however unpalatable – and that it is inherently intended in good faith. Apply ‘Chatham House’ rules: this means that not only may everyone speak their mind, they MUST.

But what is said must be kept private, ‘in the room’ and never elsewhere for future reference or attack. When you have agreed your emerging strategy, here are 5 Criteria for judging its strength. If it doesn’t meet all of the following criteria, it may be worth making sure that it does:-

1. Is it sustainable? How future proof is your strategy? Is it isn’t sustainable for at least the next few years or so, you have probably created some great short-term tactics, but not a winning strategy

2. Is it flexible? Can it be adapted and developed as circumstances change, as they inevitably will. Do you have a Plan B in case Plan A doesn’t work out?

3. Is it transparent? It needs to be as clear as possible for everyone who needs to understand it and most especially for those who need to implement it.

4. Is it convincing? Will those who have to implement the strategy ‘own’ it; they will need to.

5. Is it comprehensive? Does it cover the whole organisation and ALL that you do and wish to do? Strategies developed in smaller departmental silos, where one part of an organisation doesn’t talk to other, rarely work out well.

Need more tips on creating a winning strategy and a range of other management and trainer issues from experts? Visit the new Creativedge free mobile App providing immediate, expert management and personal development tips and advice. Visit:- https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/top-10-tips/id796349890?mt=8 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.elixsoft.creativedge

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