A team is a group of people united in a common culture, cooperating to achieve a shared purpose. Your entire organization makes up your team, and as your business grows, you’ll create teams within teams.
Your team of Technicians does the hands-on work of the business.
Your team of Managers uses systems and metrics to achieve consistent, sustainable, predictable results.
And your team of senior leaders—your Strategic Management team—uses experience, planning, evaluation, discernment, and judgment to make high-level decisions to keep the business thriving.
Your Strategic Management Team is your ticket to freedom.
Why is a strategic management team so critical? Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture.
Creating a business that can work without you gives you the ultimate freedom. At EMyth, we use the term franchise prototype to describe a business that can run successfully, profitably, predictably, and consistently without you. When you own a franchise prototype, you get to choose when, how and if you’ll work in the business!
Developing a Strategic Management Team is a critical element of a franchise prototype business that will ultimately allow you, the owner, to get free from the business. Instead of you being the strategic leader of your business, you design strategic leadership right into the structure and substance of the business, so you can eventually remove yourself from the daily activities of running it.
What is a Strategic Management Team?
This isn’t about gathering all of your managers to make group decisions. Anyone who’s worked in a large organization will tell you that management by a group is slower, more fragmented, and more complex than management by an individual.
Instead, you need a more select group of senior-level managers whose specific function is to manage long-term, complex issues. These aren’t the day-to-day management decisions that keep the business functioning in the present. They’re the decisions that focus on the longer-term growth of the company, the results you want to achieve on a three- or five-year horizon and beyond.
Your Strategic Management Team needs awareness of how the business is functioning today, but they can’t be buried in how the business is functioning today. They need to be immersed in the opportunities, choices, and activities that propel the business into the future.
Strategic Management Teams typically consist of the CEO and a small number of key managers. Sometimes they include outside advisors like a CPA or attorney who understands the business and your goals for it as the owner.
There’s no steadfast rule on the size of your Strategic Management Team; it should be small enough to be responsive and big enough to supply the range of perspectives the business needs.
What does a Strategic Management Team do?
As the owner and CEO of your business, you are the ultimate decision-maker. Your Strategic Management Team contributes their collective knowledge and experience.
You’ll have the benefit of a diversity of viewpoints and interpretations; they’ll present you with a wider variety of alternatives than you, yourself could come up with.
Your Strategic Management Team can help you with:
- Long-term plans and budgets
- Tracking overall business indicators
- Business policies
- Major projects
- Key recruiting, hiring, and terminations
- High-level decisions
And in a small business...
If you have a very small business, you may not have a single senior-level manager, let alone senior management—yet. Businesses go through stages.
In the earliest stage, you may be replacing yourself as the main revenue generator by hiring others to do the work of the business.
As the growth of your customer base starts to require more employees, you may be replacing yourself as the main employee manager by hiring others who can get work done through people using systems.
When your business reaches a stage where it’s functioning consistently and sustainably, you may be replacing yourself as the sole strategic leader by putting together a Strategic Management Team.
At any stage, you can and should seek advice and mentorship from business advisors who have expertise you need—financial, marketing, coaching and leadership development, among others.
Just know that as valuable as your mentors are, you won’t be able to transfer the key functions you perform in your business to them because they’re outside your business. To really get free, you’ll need an internal team you can trust with strategic decisions.
The point here is to get free of your business, and to do that, you need to develop it to the point where the company cansupport at least one management-level executive, someone you can develop and transfer responsibility to.
Even before you have a full Strategic Management Team, , your business will be stronger and you’ll have more freedom when it’s not completely dependent on you for guidance, long-term planning, and decision making.
It's about replacing yourself
Let’s circle back to the idea we started with. Your Strategic Management Team is your ticket to freedom because you’ll be able to gradually transfer more and more responsibility to them.
Imagine it: Eventually, you’ll become completely free of your business—free to choose whether to remove yourself from the business, sell it, or retain your title as chairman and maintain your “remote control” oversight of the company.
A Strategic Management Team is a key strategy to keep your business growing and thriving while also getting you free of it.