Basics on strategy
To explore strategy and its use by emerging business and
organizational leaders/managers; not to review a comprehensive
model for a strategic planning process.
1. Being strategic enough; being of strategic importance.
2. "Strategy" from Greek words meaning, "to lead an army;" "tactics" from "to
put in order."
3. THINKING before acting - putting you in a position to
take action successfully. Drucker, THE ESSENTIAL DRUCKER,
p. 187: "The
strategies work, not because they are clever, but because
goods as well as of services, businesses as well as public
service institutions-do not think." So...if you think, then...........
4. THINKING (in the sense of being strategic) breaks out
- S Seeing and anticipating (need facts,
analysis, brutal honesty, not denial)
- U Understanding (implications)
- R Reconfiguration (kaleidoscope, imagination,
out-of-box, right brain)
- F Focusing (strategic targets)
5. PRIORITIZATION - differentiating the more important from
the less important.
6. Thinking strategically in an organization AT ANY LEVEL:
- Product line
- Individual (at any level)
7. COMPETITION is the context for strategy - putting yourself
in a position to win or at least compete well; knowing your
competitive advantage and using it.
8. HOW you get to your goal -- assuming you know your target
goal (vision) and you know much about your current situation,
how do you plan to get from your current situation to your
target goal? The answer to that question is your strategy.
- Internal strengths (S) and external opportunities (O)
- Internal weaknesses (W) and external threats (T) = disadvantages.
Much of strategic thinking consists of assessing the SWOT
elements and then intentionally attempting to LEVERAGE THE
STRENGTHS to CAPITALIZE ON THE OPPORTUNITIES, in order to
PREEMPT THE WEAKNESSES and AVOID THE THREATS.
10. Strategy is about "DOING THE RIGHT THING, not doing
the thing right." "There is little worse than doing the wrong
thing better and better."
11. "Strategy is not a lengthy action plan but rather the
evolution of a CENTRAL IDEA through continually changing
Welch, quoting Helmuth Von Moltke, Military Advisor to the
12. A business, large or small, has strategic CHOICES to
make regarding a set of VARIABLES:
- WHAT: What do I do for customers? Services/products
- WHO: For whom? Customers/markets and
their emerging needs.
- HOW: With what capabilities? Which are
core competencies? Which not?
- R&D, innovation, design?
- Production, operations?
- Sales, distribution?
- Overall management, systems?
- OUTCOMES: Results: Size, timing, returns.
- How have we done within each category?
- Which one leads? Should lead?
- That is the Driving Force, Value Discipline, Overall
Strategy, the Evolving Central Idea.
- Starting with the driving force, what do we want to do
within each category (strategic objectives) in order to
achieve our goals in this period of time?
- The answers to these questions become the STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK,
which shapes all other planning and operational decisions,
staffing, performance expectations, allocations, daily
prioritization, releases of new products, who the field
people should spend time with, invests, and divests, etc.
13. Ultimately there are only a few strategic
choices, a small MENU, for the central ideas of any business:
- Compete on the basis of cost, being the BEST TOTAL COST
option (commodity, CPI, obsessed with driving cost out
without sacrificing quality).
- If you want to charge more than others, then DIFFERENTIATE
yourself, compete on the basis of product, being the
BEST PRODUCT (design, development, branding as the best,
and worth it; thought leaders; sometimes called technology-driven).
- Or, FOCUS in on a much narrower market (niche or niches),
leverage special inside knowledge, special relationships,
and become the BEST TOTAL SOLUTION for that narrower
market (brokering or delivering many services for a few
Treacy and Wiersema:
Value (value to the customer) Disciplines:
- Operational Excellence (G.E. and Six Sigma; almost military
org.; new 3M)
- Product Leader (Texas Instruments; product brands; Medtronic;
3M of old)
- Customer Intimacy (many professional service firms; credit
cards-Gold, Silver; airlines' frequent traveler categories;
many lesser known, under-the-radar co's , like Drucker
mentions in "specialty market strategy.")
14. What strategy is not:
- Not just planning
- Not just vision (and not mission, vision, and values)
- Not equal to long range planning; is just as short range
- Not done with just one process (one size fits all), because
it depends on your particular situation and what your
driving force becomes, since the sequence builds on the
driving force you select.
15. What are your key strategies?