Everyone throws around strategy and “strategic initiatives” and any other number of words that have strategy attached to them pretty randomly lately.

And, in most cases, I feel like these conversations are based on little understanding of what will really make your strategy sell or successful.

Because in reality, a successful strategy is built on one key concept that should drive every decision that you make once you have discovered the answer for your company.

To phrase it in the form of a question, any great strategy begins with answering this one simple question:

What is the value that we are creating for our clients?

This is the jumping off point for every action you take and every decision you make.

Does it reflect the value that you are creating?

Does this decision reflect the value you want to create?

Simple, right?

So how do you make sure you are focusing on answering this question and putting the answer at the forefront of every action you take?

Here are a few ideas:

1. Make sure your value is clear, present, and focused on your customer:

If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves delivering a value proposition, but just not one that is focused on our customers and potential customers.

To make sure you have a clear value proposition that is going to deliver a solid, action oriented strategy, you need to make sure you are focused on your customers and potential customers.

This means that you need to understand what is bugging them.

You have to have a grasp on the challenges that they can’t solve themselves.

You have to be current on the industry standards that may be aren’t working for them or that are evolving.

And, you have to be able to think about them in the context of how they are going to change your partners situation.

2. You need to constantly be bringing in new ideas:

One of the big issues for a lot of companies is they get trapped in the world of their own company and own organization.

That’s why it is important that you constantly look for ideas and solutions from all the sources around you.

If you are in technology, look at consulting or sports or retail.

If you are in retail, ask yourself what are professional services doing well.

Or, if you are in marketing, maybe you can use something the sales team is doing right.

Or, maybe the operations side has an idea that will be powerful if used by the tech team.

Wherever it is, you need to focus on finding and applying ideas from different sources in new ways or in new industries.

3. Always be looking how your value can evolve and grow to keep your clients in the best position to succeed:

One thing you need to always keep in mind is that you absolutely have to be focused on growth and evolution.

This is pretty clear to most, but they are also ideas that can easily slip into the background if you aren’t careful.

The key to long term value creation and having a strategy that focuses on the value you create for your clients, you must always focus on evolution and growth because if you don’t grow and evolve, your business will begin to fall behind.