The X-Men have been a popular comic book franchise for many years that has spawned video games, cartoons, and a popular movie series. Many of us are familiar with some of the characters, like Professor X, Wolverine, Storm, and Magneto. The series is not only popular for its great action and stories, but also for the many things it can teach us, such as the importance of tolerance and acceptance of people who are different (be it race, physical characteristics, etc.). The X-men can also teach lessons that can be useful in the business world, too, believe it or not. For example, since Professor X runs a school that houses and teaches mutants, and the X-men are often caught up in battles to save the world, we can use the X-men to help in developing a business strategy.
In reading the X-men comics and watching the movies, we see the importance of strategy in many of the things the band of mutants are involved in, from the running of the school to, especially, the many battles they fight. Professor X, as the founder and leader, has had to constantly plan and develop strategies in order to prepare for whatever situation may arise and keep his beloved students safe. The same can be said for X-men team leaders like Storm and Cyclops, who have had to come up with battle plans and strategies to both keep their teams alive and win their battles. Leaders like them also know that they need to have plans that are flexible enough to be changed when the need arises. Business strategies need to be the same, since things don’t always go to plan and something can come up suddenly that can throw your plans out of sync if they’re not flexible so you can change them without trouble.
There are many strategic planning tips we can learn from them that we can apply to developing business strategies, such as:
*Approach your planning sessions with your company policy in mind
*Play devil’s advocate with every decision, so you see things from each side
*Learn from the past, so you know what’s been done and what worked and what mistakes were made
*Map out a “plan of attack”, so you know what you’re going to do and when
*Invite input and consensus by planning with a team and getting everyone’s thoughts, ideas, and feedback on things
*Be innovative by stepping back from tradition and trying new things
*Use a system, such as SWOT, for your planning
*Experiment and proof as much as you can to find what works best for you
*Make sure you have a back-up plan, or two.
*Be positive and give it your all
Incorporating these tips into a business strategy along with elements such as talent development, strong communication, leadership training, and a well-defined mission can lead to business success.
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