Friday, May 20, 2016

Understand developing strategies

This is my first class on Strategy Development. In the first week, I got to understand what strategy is and why we need to develop strategies.  When do things before, I think, make a plan and just do using some tactics that just come in mind but never systematically think about how to formulate a strategy, which is a good way of getting things done and involves vision, mission, and objective of the initiative, for obtaining a specific result.  Developing strategies is critical to succeed because good strategies can define goals and version, and service foundation for how to achieve the goal.  

After reading the article “Your strategy needs a strategy”,[1 ] I understand strategy development in a deeper way than before. In more cases, developing strategy is straightforward.  Hart’s Essence of Strategy gives a good example: “thinking must precede acting”. In many times, we have good idea but do not act them.  Thus lack of acting actually does nothing for thinking.  “Attack only those you can beat”, this one is kind of prioritizing things that you are doing. We do not have time, source, or energy to do all but focusing on the most important one can make people maximize their source to achieve the key milestone. 

However, in some cases, developing strategy needs a strategy.  That article (Your strategy needs…) illustrated an example in oil industry.  For instance, the oil company’s strategists know the global supply will rise or fall when new resources are discovered or the global supply/demand changes.  But such strategy does not work in some industry with innovation like Google. Thus we should know that the skill sets in different might be totally different and accordingly different strategy development should be applied. 

A systematic way of a strategy for making strategy was explained in this article: 1) Finding the right strategic style. The choice of strategic style should start as long as one begins to assess one’s industry with two critical factors predictability and malleability; 2) Avoiding the traps. For instance, when developing strategy, three traps should be avoid.  They are misplaced confidence, un-examined habits, and culture mismatches; and 3) Operating in many modes. Because various companies may operate in different environment, it is good to apply many different modes and then select the most effective one.

Thus, once we realize that we need to develop strategies so that we can take advantage of all resources, efficient use of time, energy and resources, and so forth.  One thing comes out first is to evaluate an industry to select the strategic style.  With this in mind, we can choose many different modes and assess them and then pick up the most effective one. After this done, we can develop strategy. Based on the reading lecture, I think developing strategies is a step between thinking objectives and making a way to achieve it.  It should be formed before taking action since without good strategies seems a boat in the sea without compass.  Also strategies should not be unchangeable, rather one should evaluate strategies if situation changes or there are new opportunities. In addition, strategies developed should be realistic and possible to achieve.

Ref. [1] Your Strategy Needs a Strategy (Reeves, Love, and Tillmanns, Harvard Business Review, September 2012)

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