Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Can you say what your strategy is?

Today’s article, ‘Can you say what your strategy is?’ by David J Collins and Michael G. Rukstad talks about the importance of defining strategy and consulting it when making a business decision for an organization. This reminds me of the book I read sometime back - The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. In this book, all the qualities of good leadership are introduced using a fable on a dysfunctional team. The protagonist is a newly appointed CEO of DecisionTech, Inc., Kathryn Peterson. One of her peculiar qualities is her way of initiating the meetings. She started the meeting with the company’s mission statement. This way she ensured that the team was aware of the company’s mission and that they all worked towards it in unison. This story introduced me to the importance of strategy in a company and how an explicit mention of it impacts the teams and their decisions made.

Today’s article drove the idea further by stating the elements of strategy - objective, scope and advantage. It aptly states that the objective drives major business decisions in a firm while scope decides its boundaries and advantages sets apart the strategies of various companies. The companies must decide it’s strategies around the strategic sweet spot where the company’s capabilities meet the customer’s needs.

To further explore this concept, consider the OS wars between Android and Samsung. Android (Google) and Samsung were allies since Open Handset Alliance came into existence. The alliance allowed Google to market Android extensively on Samsung devices. The goal of the alliance was – ‘Fostering innovation on mobile devices and giving consumers a far better user experience than much of what is available on today’s mobile platforms.’ Despite the alliance and the coopetition between the firms, Samsung began marketing its new OS Tizen which was based on Android. Google did not appreciate the move and this led to many strategic wars between the firms over the years. Finally, Google bought Motorola to get its patents, sell its own phones and in turn reduce the profits for Samsung. After the settlement of these wars, Google reiterated the strategy of the alliance. This alteration was needed due to the missing scope in the strategy of the alliance. This also proves how strategies are not only important for organizations but also for the alliances and agreements that various companies enter.

  1. How Google Used Motorola To Smack Down Samsung -- Twice. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from
  2. The book by Patrick Lencioni, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable.”

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