When you walk in the forest, or National Park what do you see? Most of the time we see the beauty of the immediate landscape and nature in general, we focus on looking at the what is right in front of us. What if we sent a drone up a thousand feet above and looked at the same landscape? What would we see then? Similarly, where do most business owners and CEO’s of small and middle market companies focus their attention, daily, weekly, monthly? They focus on the tree right in front of them and occasionally that tree is on fire! Most business studies show that CEO or owners of companies with less than 500 employees focus 90% of their time working “in the business” vs. “on the business”.

Strategic planning is something that CEO’s may do annually, but in many cases it is only wishful thinking. When times are bad we might tend to tighten our belts and hope to survive another day. Remember, hope is not a strategy – ironically, it’s more a lack of strategy.

Look at the forest and take a big picture view of your business, industry, and market trends for the last year, etc. Bring together your key leaders, outside influencers or business advisors and talk about what you can do to transform your business. Examine where improvements can be made whether its operationally, structurally, sales and marketing strategy, technology, or people wise to improve your business. Think about what needs to change in your business next month, next quarter or next year to make changes that could impact your business for the rest of the decade. We will get through the current crisis sooner than later and start picking up the pieces again. Before that occurs use your extra time for planning future strategy.