Chances are, if you’re reading this post, you’re probably the founder of a startup, an established business owner, or a hobbyist who wants a cash flow positive entrepreneurial venture.

On the surface: You’ve likely heard so many different pieces of advice—from consultants, trainers, business coaches, or motivational speakers—that you might be overwhelmed & attempting to decide which approach best applies to you at this time. Or maybe you haven’t quite made it to where you want to be, even though you’ve already started to implement a strategy.

Then, how will this topic be of value all things considered?

Only you can decide. Discernment is a key soft skill, and my hope is that your business benefits in a big way! Let’s unpack how Culture, Vision, Strategy, and Tactics (CVST) fit into your business.


Your company culture should be clearly defined and cultivated regularly. How much you focus on this input can make all the difference between being significant and successful versus running out of capital and struggling to retain your staff.


Can you see well past the horizon and pinpoint possible challenges that may appear in your entrepreneurial path? Instant gratification is the venom; vision is its antidote, & also a catalyst, to your business’ ultimate success in the marketplace. [Tweet this]


Maybe you’ve heard this, or a derivation of it, before today: “Goals in concrete; plans in sand.” Do you have a strategy, with its spine made up of short-, mid-, and long-term goals? Congratulations! You are in a great position to be significant.


Your goals are the river; the plans are the tactical details, the streams, which steer your business in the best possible direction. Plans can & definitely will shift, as they aren’t anchored to terra firma and the business landscape changes by the minute.

So how does education, properly defined, play into CVST?

Educating Culture

Be the example! If you are in the independent workforce, you absolutely should be pursuing ongoing, life-long learning. There’s simply no excuse not to.

Second – Encourage your staff, current & future, to also self educate by taking steps to grow your business’ professional development budget. If you don’t have one yet, definitely create a line item as soon as possible.

Judge your employees not on their resumé credentials alone; offer them opportunities to get ahead, perhaps by filling open positions in your business after you’ve heard their stories of what they’ve learned through self-directed means (webinars, podcasts, books, etc.).

Educating Vision

Look at education through an extended lens. The Japanese have for many decades been far better than their American counterparts at this; yet, there’s no reason why you, a tech startup founder, a growing business, or a solopreneur, can’t follow their lead.

Don’t expect that your investment in yourself and your staff will immediately fix deep-seated issues as they relate to customer service, turnover, satisfaction, engagement, or the ability to fill open positions.

However, do know this: You will see improvement so long as you stay the course, even through the ebb and flow of business.

Educating Strategy

Set goals! Many of America’s most influential thought leaders have spoken out about how important it is to write down goals, instill small group and peer-to-peer accountability, and use PDCA (planning, doing, checking, and adjusting).

Goals can be a backbone, the beating heart, of your business strategy.

Tie your staff’s performance to their self-directed educational attainments:

  • Listen to podcasts regularly
  • Attend lunch & learns with your staff
  • Encourage your staff to read books outside of your industry.
  • Design your talent development (a big step up from HR) around it. As Daniel Pink taught us, ‘now/that’ rewards are infinitely more effective.

Tactics you can implement today:

Each goal needs a pathway to ensure achievement. Your plan, while definitely flexible, is the ticket to punch. Here are some suggestions to thoughtfully consider:

  1. Run an HR (talent management) beta test by implementing a hiring, promotions, & rewards system aligned with the ongoing development of soft skills within your company culture.
  2. Introduce a ‘flex time’ policy that clearly encourages your staff to attend lunch & learns, breakfast & happy hour networking, and other soft skill-centric events.
  3. Offer to refund or directly invest in memberships to organizations, associations, and other groups that will encourage and strengthen soft skills.
  4. Look into digital badging & certifications.


If I can further assist you, please feel welcome to contact me via my bio. Thank you for reading!



This blog originally was posted here: , with much appreciation and thankfulness to the folks at Innovate New Albany.