Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Strategy: Beyond Planning

The lesson I took from the reading was just how much strategy goes into planning strategy. During most of my professional career, when a strategy development meeting was called for, it was simply a away for executives to tell everyone what they thought was the best course to follow for the short, middle, and long terms of the company. Clearly that is not the best way to handle strategy.

It is my experience that strategy happens on the fly rather than at a meeting. I think strategy meetings should be similar to a coach’s prep talk prior to a big game: he can lay out what the plans for victory are for the team, but it is up to the players to execute it on the field of play. Since no one knows with absolute certainty what the future holds for their business, so being able to depend on strategic decisions to be made on the spot quite an advantage to possess.

It never dawned on me that before you can be successful in creating a strategy, you need to recognize the speed in which changes are made in your industry and the scope of your business within that industry. Those are crucial because, as the Your Strategy Needs a Strategy article points out, the way for an oil company to handle strategy should not be adopted by a software company since the industry changes happen at such different speeds. The oil company can afford to be slower since the industry is pretty settled in how things are done, while a software company needs agility to keep up with industry changes, which can take place as quickly as three months’ time.

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