The importance of having a strategic approach to business cannot be understated. While many business people are content to keep going at it in the same way they always have, taking a step back and assessing what lies ahead, the challenges, the goals, the failures and successes is not always part of the process.
Dr Jonathan Foster Pedley of the GSB posted with You Tube video his students developed to explain “What Strategy Is …”. Inspiring & Insightful.
I also “stumble” across this article(Tapping into the power of strategy) written by Antoinette Tyrrell, strategy director at the Switch Group in which she says:
Strategy means planning, doing, checking and replanning â€“ while keeping your staff engaged in this process. To ensure it’s the most successful it can be it needs to cross disciplines; linking the silos in your organisation. This will ensure that each and every person in your organisation, no matter their department, is working towards a common goal.
A business plan should be one of the key tools driving your strategy. I’m not talking about those dead never to be opened business plans developed merely to apply for funding, I’m talking about something which is dynamic and changes with the needs and growth of your company.
The business plan covers the bigger picture and many times this is something we neglect to take a look at in the daily running of our businesses, what is the overall mission we are trying to achieve, and do our daily activities contribute towards that.
Sometimes it’s good to get the help of an outside party who is detached from emotional involvement and can give you an outsider’s perspective.
Antionette goes on to say:
a strategy expert doesn’t have to come with an intimidating price tag. Look for a company that offers you someone who will immerse themselves in your business; someone who will go down the mineshaft, wear a hard hat, and get into the thick of things to find the answers you need. Great strategies are not developed behind closed doors or in ivory towers.
Taking the concept of immersion deeper, it takes conscious immersion to pin point areas of focus. Many times immersion of the wrong kind, like that of the micro-manager hovering over everyone’s shoulders produces negative results. the type of immersion needed should allow for weaknesses to be uncovered. inviting a strategist on board and then trying to plug the gaps before he/she arrives might save some perceived embarrassment but won’t produce the results you are in need of.
If you’re not willing to take advice from an outsider on your weaknesses, then you’re probably more likely to get stuck into certain static patterns which eventually reach deadlocks and don’t produce results.
The term strategy has it’s roots in war, and was used to define the plan needed to win the battle. It’s a war zone out there when you think about how tight competition is and having an edge over your competitors means having a differential strategy.
Strategy is also not about plans being passed down from the top through the hierarchical chain. It’s more about conversation and insight into what goes on on the ground. It goes without saying that all parties must be willing to talk and listen and to be transparent in their conversation.