Organisations are battling to implement a strategy. Crafting strategy is an analysis-driven exercise. It is not an activity where executives can succeed by sheer effort and creativity. We hear employees and CEOs alike complain that there’s no line of sight between the company strategy and the individual performance measures.
Judging what strategy to pursue should ideally be grounded in a probing assessment of a company’s external and internal situation.
The essence of the strategy development will manifest in the organisational activities – choosing to perform activities differently or to perform different activities than rivals. Otherwise, the strategy will be nothing more than a marketing slogan that will not withstand competition.
Once the competitive strategy has been developed, it’s our belief that the only way to implement the strategy is to define the desired objectives and measures that will drive the strategy and required behaviours.
Result: A Competitive Strategy:
It’s about being different – It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.
Good strategy vs bad strategy (from the book Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt)
- A good strategy is rare as many organisations who claim to have a strategy do not, instead, they have a set of performance goals, or, worse, a set of vague aspirations.
- Strategy is the application of strength against the most promising opportunity. A good strategy doesn’t just draw on existing strength, it creates strength through the coherence of its design. The opposite, however, is often the reality – organisations pursue multiple objectives that are unconnected with one another, or worse, that conflict with one another.
- The most powerful strategies arise from game-changing insights – of customers, markets, competitors, regulators, and industries. It creates advantages by anticipating the actions and reactions of others, by exploiting the leverage inherent in concentrating effort on a pivotal or decisive aspect of the situation, and by creating policies and actions that are coherent, each building on the other rather than canceling one another out.
- The strategies we develop for our clients are all about how to move them forward. Doing Strategy is figuring out how to advance the interests of our clients.
Tell-tale signs of a winning strategy (from the book Playing to Win: How Strategy really works by A.G. Lafley)
- An activity system that looks different from your competitor’s system. It means attempting to deliver value in a distinctive way
- Customers who absolutely love you
- Competitors who make a good profit doing what they are doing. It means your strategy has left where-to-play and how-to-win choices for competitors who don’t need to attack the heart of your market to survive
- More resources to spend on an ongoing basis than competitors have. This means you are winning the value equation and have the biggest margin between price and costs and the best capacity to add spending to take advantage of an opportunity or defend your turf
- Competitors who attack one another not us. It means that you look like the hardest target in the (broadly defined) industry to attack.
- Customers who look first to you for innovations, new products, and service enhancements to make their lives better. This means that your customers believe that you are uniquely positioned to create value for them