Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How Defining Strategy Plays an Important role: An Employer's View

“Clarity about what makes a firm distinctive is what most helps employees understand how they can contribute to successful execution of its strategy.” – [1]
As I was delving in this week’s reading, one thing that stood out to me is How important is the clarity of the strategy. Today, I am going to discuss on the strategy of the company I worked for and what clarity means to the organization.

As an organization, Larsen & Toubro is multinational construction company with over 100 years of foundational values. Like every other major sectors, construction sectors have several branches under its main organization. Added to it, a completion of task flow consists of many levels of workers. Thus, it is very important to maintain a clarity and uniformity inside the organizational level.

As a company L&T has carved out its focus for its development over the years. What started as a housing construction company, has completely shifted its focus to major public projects under government. As the company has grown over the years, it bagged its first public project back in 1987, and it was a major success. Since then, it has built its base gradually in this sector.

Create a specialized market in the competition: There are several big players in the construction sector, but what separates L&T from other companies is they only cater to Megastructures (like Dams, Airports, Sea links, ports), and under public sector.

Generate several strategic possibilities: Today, the company is almost expected to win the bid of any major project under government auctions. However, this does not mean the company do not focus on other kinds of projects. They also cater to private project but above a certain constraint.

Identify barriers to choose: With years of experience in megastructures, the company has created a work force which specializes in delivering such tasks in the specific time frame. This is specialization is very important, because, in construction industry in-efficient project timeline can cost company millions of dollars. It must have been a part of strategy in the board room back in 1960’s-70’s, to target this segment of the market and build barriers so large that it does not match to any new entrants.

Defining the Advantage and strategy to all employees: As a site engineer with one year of experience, I am aware of the company’s direction. This shows that the organization is clear in defining its goals and objectives even to a new entrant. This plays an important role in the workforce mechanism of the company. One of the important part of the strategy is to deliver good quality project within the time and maintain safety on site. And as an employees it very important to have a definitive goal to deliver the work. Few things which my organization follows to make sure the definition of objective reaches to all level of people is : a) organizing workshops for all level of work forces and b) provide target quotes in banners, in different languages, both in site and in office, such that people are aware of the focus of the company in which they are working for and contribute accordingly.

The best part is, I was not even aware that these small events is an integral part of a successful company until I was made aware in this class. However, when I give it a thought, I felt it kept my focus to the bigger objective of my ex-company.

[1] David G. Collis, Michael Rukstad; 2008; HBR; “Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?”

[2] Roger L. Martin; 2012; HBR; “Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy”

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