Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What a strategy should be like

The article “Can you say what your strategy is?” by authors David J. Collis and Michael G. Rukstad starts with the emphasis of organizations to have a 35 word strategy in place and then communicating it with its employees. I believe this is extremely necessary so as to make the employees knowledgeable about its directions and future intentions. The authors stress that strategy is not necessarily about the values of a certain vision, but instead about what the competition would be like – ‘What is being done differently than the competitors?’

Another article “What is Strategy?” by Michael Porter explains the plus points of having a well-defined strategy. For one, the executives find it easier to formulate ideas, products or services as they know what the concluding aim has to be. The second is at the implementation level which also becomes easier as it is easily known how the strategy is to be communicated internal and external to the organization.

Roger Martin, former dean of The Rotman School of Management, further expressed the need for a short strategy statement. According to Roger, the statement should be 15-words and “must” identify the customer base, value proposition; also to clearly state the difference in service offerings from competitors. The problems that occur from having lengthy strategy statements are that a number of executives have the ability to interpret this document in a number of ways and this only leads to that one document resulting in many different strategies. Thus, clarity is important for a strategy statement. What makes the statement even stronger is when it is compared alongside other strategies.

Joe Pulizzi, a leader behind the content marketing movement speaks about the sweet spot which is also mentioned by our authors within this article.;sIn his book, Epic Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi says: "Your sweet spot is the intersection between your customers’ pain points and where you have the most authority with your stories. This takes us back to one of the original questions: where can you be the leading expert in the world?" [2]

IKEA is an organization which exemplifies both of these aspects – its strategy as well as hitting the sweet spot in this regard. The major reason for this is in the fact that IKEA offers all the things its competitors cannot offer in terms of pricing and design and additionally offers services falling under its own core competencies. The part where families could openly shop for all house-related things under a single roof not to forget mentioning cutlery, toys, food and a kid care center for small children is almost like icing on the cake for its customers. From their perspective, IKEA has made a definite impact with regard to furniture and other products. Not only does this satisfy the customer’s needs but it also falls very comfortably under its personal capabilities.

[1] “Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?” - David J. Collis and Michael G. Rukstad


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