Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Strategy Gets a Bad Name

Before I embarked on this class I had this horrible idea of strategy development.  It was a pre-conceived notion of what I had seen on TV and in movies: the boardroom that resembled the war room, forced participation, hours upon hours of ideas, and no one getting out until everything was accomplished.  Clearly, this is very wrong.

There may still be companies that approach strategy this way, but this is not the way I see strategy now, nor is it the way I think strategy is going into the future.

So far, I believe strategy should be fluid.  I believe everyone in your company should know your strategy.  I believe the best way of doing this is to have impromptu meetings in the hall or during coffee breaks.  There is no “one-size fits all” strategy, especially in large businesses where there is segmentation and there may need to be more than one.  

There isn’t one factor that will define a great strategy; there are many.  Know yourself.  Know your competition.  What service/product are you providing that gives you an unfair advantage? How will you sustain that advantage?  Blue oceans/red oceans…the ideas are bountiful and not all will apply to your business.  I will, however, say that great strategy takes a lot of planning. 

Onto the Future:
“Companies must take the lead in bringing business and society back together.”

We are on a global stage.  Your strategy should reflect this.  Gone are the days where you can do something in secret.  Case in point (just this week): AT&T recently fired its CEO over racist texts and images.  Clearly having a racist CEO as its face of the company is not an image AT&T wants to proliferate.  Yesterday, Twitter’s stock plummeted after news of a quarterly loss was leaked, of all things, on Twitter. 

Strategy isn’t just about making money.  It shouldn’t be a financial session.  Now, more than before, companies have to consider how to meet the needs of its workers, communities, and supporting businesses.  If they’re better off, so are you.  Creating shared value isn’t about hand-outs.  It requires some investing in people and communities, but the return is greater than increased profits. 

I like the idea of employee wellness programs because companies are improving the lives of the employees (and caring) while saving money in Health care costs (my main goal).  I foresee a future where insurance companies run similar programs that emphasize preventative care and decrease costs in the process.

Don’t miss opportunities for growth.  It’s not enough just to look at your backyard.  If you’re serious about growing, you need to consider growing markets, like Brazil, South Africa, and India.  When you get there, form bonds in your new community.  There will be a return on investment it just not may be as fast.

Lastly, Remember, there are many options out there.  Why would I chose you?  Being distinctive is multi-faceted nowadays.

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