Try Strategy Horizons Versus a Timeline

Here’s the scenario.  You’ve got people asking you to express your strategy as a set of milestones extending through a certain amount of time.  This puts you in the mindset of building out a timeline and dropping in various important strategic events you see happening in the future.  But even if you try to limit yourself to the next 6 months you struggle with the perceived precision of showing things happening on certain dates or even in certain months.

Instead of a timeline, show your strategic milestones in what are referred to as “strategy horizons”.  It’s as simple as breaking the timeline into three horizons.  Two is minimal but I tend to prefer three.  A one year projection might be broken into next 3 months, 3-6 months and 6-12 months.  Now all you need to do is decide which horizon to drop your various strategic milestone events into.  MUCH easier and yet something that conveys your strategy in a way that investors (or investor prospects), board members, strategic partners or candidates for executive employment positions can digest with solid understanding.

Here’s an example of a way you might graphically depict the exercise:

Strategic Horizons

The vertical axis doesn’t represent anything in particular unless you decide to have it represent significance.  But the main idea is to create “buckets” (horizons) for dropping your various strategic milestones into.  And you get to decide what represents a “strategic milestone”.  I just provide a few examples.  As you grow and can plan/predict further into the future, double the duration of each horizon so that the graphic extends to 24 months.

Want to create your own strategy horizon graphic?  Click here for a blank PowerPoint template.

The above concept has also been included as a template in an online visual planning and strategy tool called Cnverg.  Check it out.

Wait, there’s much more!!!

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love what I cover in my video library called Founders Academy, which includes all of the key concepts and insights to help you dramatically increase your odds of success using topic-specific streaming video modules.  Click Here to Learn More

“Founders Academy is a must!  Gordon unlocked new value in concepts I thought I was already familiar with.” (startup founder)

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Author: Gordon Daugherty

Over the past 15 years Gordon has seen more than 1,500 startup pitches, given personal advice to more than 500 entrepreneurs and been involved with raising over $45M in growth and venture capital. Throughout his 28 year career in high tech, Gordon has two IPO’s and a $200M acquisition exit under his belt. Now, through his advisory practice called Shockwave Innovations and as Managing Director for Austin’s Capital Factory startup accelerator, Gordon’s focus is purely on educating, advising and investing in tech startups.

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