Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Simplify Your Strategy:

I have worked for 5years for a multi national company. Before taking this class, if you would ask me what was the strategy of any previous company, I would probably not be able to answer the question. I think the major reason for this is my lack of awareness of what the company’s strategy was. Why was I not aware of the strategy?

Well, to begin with every time I tried to read it, I would fall asleep! It was a long complicated verbose set of paragraphs. Would I have read it if it was more concise? Would I have a better understanding of where the company is headed in the future? Would it increase my motivation to work? If every employee had a better understanding of the path ahead, would it contribute to the organization’s success?
So is it important to simplify a strategy?

Yes! It definitely would help me and my peers to better align ourselves to the strategy of our organization. Everyone would be heading in the same direction without having a detrimental effect on each other or on the company. Resources would be utilized more effectively. Often when organization’s fail, they think that the implementation was lousy. Is that the only reason?

Let’s dig deeper. Leaders of an organization must be able to uncover the actual reasons of failure. If a strategy fails, its not the implementation that failed alone, It the strategy that failed as a whole. Having said that, when developing a strategy we must build one that can be implemented. How can a strategy be simplified?

A strategy must be actionable. To be actionable it must be understood. To be understood, it must be SIMPLE. As mentioned in the article, the components of a good strategy are objectives, scope, and advantage. The simple question to be answered by organizations is what is their business objective, how far do they what to take it and what value will it bring to their organization and their customers. Once you have an answer to those questions, that’s your strategy!

Most of the times, the answers to those questions can be really long. That’s when the organization needs to decide its priority and stick to it. The article describes the strategic sweet spot as where it meets customers’ needs in a way that rivals can’t, given the context in which it competes.

Another video that I saw described the strategic sweet spot on a new tool called the CD map i.e the centrality of a product versus its distinctiveness. E.g. In the car industry, Toyota has high centrality while Porshe has high distinctiveness based on the customer’s perspective. Where an organization can be mapped on this map, helps organizations understand where they stand and where they want to head towards.

Now, is it important to revisit a successful strategy? I believe there is always room for improvement. Definitely leaders must revise their strategic plan in this dynamic environment or they may be left behind. On a final note, I found the below comic strip interesting:



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