Saturday, July 13, 2013

Which Color is Your Strategy

 Strategy is about being different and is about making choices

The strategy is an everlast puzzle, organizations big and small try to solve it, there’re many big questions upon it such as how to find a ‘winning’ strategy; how to align all business projects, processes and plans with a chosen strategy? How to implement a strategic plan and measure its achievements? Back to fundamental, do you have a common language about strategy? There are different points of view about the strategy based on how the individuals are framing the problem, or at what level of abstraction. Everyone is hunting for Blue Ocean or Purple Cow, which color is your strategy

1.     Strategy is about being different and is about making choices. The purpose of the strategy is the creation of competitive advantage. Strategy is an intellectual endeavor, or thinking and design process, to come up with the best positioning and execution forces that would be most advantages to accomplish the respectively set goals, objectives, and the (business) mission.

2.     Strategy is often derived from vision and translates into the mission and are invariably guided by values (or guidelines of what we should or should not do).A strategy is the direction and scope of an organization over the long-term, which achieves the advantage for the organization through its configuration of resources within a changing environment in order to fulfill stakeholder expectations.

3.     STRATEGY - defines the means by which the mission will be accomplished.  The more vision, mission statement, and strategy are communicated from the top, the higher the probability of successful execution throughout the organization; the more management can make employees feel like valuable contributors with a sense of purpose and rewards to match, the more likely the mission will be accomplished. 

4.     Business strategy is responsible for putting the enterprise in the right place, at the right time, with the right means and partners so as to get the right kind of results. Note each of these five points is subject to change! Innovation today a key to solid success, is a fundamental of strategy as it should drive change so as to constantly achieve a stronger market position above industry average margins.

5.     Business Strategy defines, develops and executes value propositions, that allow sharing value across the value chain, respond to the needs and expectations of customers and stakeholders at the same time - optimization, the theory of constraints - not silo thinking and acting in the short term, partial, unsustainable ... 

6.     Strategy all starts with the awareness that there is a holistic perspective to business that is all encompassing, and then there are the separate intertwined parts of the puzzle, thirdly the magic of the mystery to hold it together and make it happen over time, one conscious step at a time, within a common framework and master plan, over the long haul.... Winning involves maximizing strategy execution.

7.     A strategy is a choice that constrains subsequent decisions. It is all about making complexity actionable for both left and right brainers, for holistic and silo thinkers, in harmony, together and united around common goals, vision, understanding and agreed on plans. Business Strategy requires an intelligent mix of both Deliberate Strategy (Top-Down) and Emergent Strategy (Bottom-Up) and the most important, regardless of the way, is making a strategic learning process as feedback to intended strategy.

8.     Strategy is about comprehending the uncertainty about the present and the future and proposing a rational route forward based on this understanding and convincing people to adopt it. Strategy is the high-level outline plan to deploy organizational resources and exploit capabilities; in order to achieve a defined ‘end-state’ or long-term aim while fulfilling the organization’s purpose. 

9.     Look through strategy in the context of SPITE! Where S = Strategy; P = Planning (part of all); I = Implementation; T = Tactics; and E= Execution. Strategy is more about What and Why;  is about communicating effectively the What and Why and What If and creating accountability that works - consequences (positive hopefully); T is about How Who When, Where etc; E is about action aligned to What Why, How When Who Where and What If. It helps if the doers are included in the planning.


10.  Strategy can be formed through conscious processes before the decision making or the strategy can be formed gradually through the decision-making process itself. Strategy emerges from the organizational behavior and thinking, actually, it is a result, outcome of organization behavior and thinking (culture). Strategy is actually a pattern embodied in day to day work more than an annual plan and is consistency in behavior, whether or not intended. Formal plans may go unrealized while patterns may emerge from daily work.

11.  One could not reduce strategy to a formula. Detailed planning necessarily failed, due to the inevitable frictions encountered: chance events, imperfections in execution, and the independent will of the opposition. Instead, the human elements were paramount: leadership, morale, and the almost instinctive savvy of the best generals. It is more creative and usually results in a hybrid combination of ideas from different approaches that is the winner 

12.  Strategy definition should the embrace the following principles
1) Be generic enough so it can extent beyond business to all area of human-like including personal strategy. Business strategy is a particularly applied form of strategy- albeit an important one. A general definition should not use exclusively business terminology and concepts.
2). It must have outward and thinking elements. A strategy can’t be formulated by purely deductive logic - otherwise, it is a plan! it has, therefore, to accept imperfect knowledge and making assessments from it.
3). But strategy should be backed by solid reasoning, not merely a wishful thinking. Does it have to be implemental- probably not? Clearly to be useful in the short term it is best if it is! 

13.  The color of strategy depends on the definitions of strategy that may fulfill different purpose:
·       Definitions express a common sense everyday conversational use of the term strategy.
·       Definitions that express what a strategy does, this is akin to a functional definition.
·       Definitions that express strategy in formal operational terms.
·       Definitions that express the strategy in terms of the mechanisms that realize the strategy.
·       Definitions that describe strategy logically which would give rise to the definition being subject to interpretation and so you get statements like "one person's strategy is some other person's tactics".

The strategy is colorful, one may just need to discover its true color via discerning eyes, mindful thinking, and relentless communication. 
  

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