Monday, September 13, 2021


Strategy practitioners are flexible to make choices, innovative to explore emerging opportunities; risk-intelligent to prevent or minimize risks, and resilient to fail fast and fail forward.

"Management" is the process of orchestrating inputs towards outputs, whereas "Strategy" is the approach taken to achieve the outputs. Given the “VUCA” normality of the digital business and given the challenges of ever-evolving dynamic ecosystems, Strategy Management is a bit of a misnomer, having a lot of moving parts. Unclear strategy perhaps misleads the business in the wrong direction. 

It’s critical for the management to know what you are able to accomplish and what it will take to expand the differentiated capabilities for improving strategy success.

Strategy management as a cyclical process and an iterative strategy-implementation continuum: In static traditional organization, strategy development is too often seen as a linear process, but in the fast-paced business environment today, it is, in fact, a cyclical process that needs constant attention and tuning for adapting to the changing environment. Strategic scenario planning is to navigate through the digital dynamic, discover the unexplored path via unconventional or out of the box thinking. If you don't take the time and make the effort to get the strategy right, you could end up "doing the wrong things right. To craft a good strategy, the management needs to engage in meaningful digital dialogues by asking the predictive questions such as: What's going on in the market? Where are competitors headed? Where are suppliers headed? And most importantly, where are customers headed? You must ask “why” enough time to uncover the negative factors that create a divide between the vision/strategy of the desired future and the current reality.

Strategy and execution are two completely different things and skill sets, but they are interlinked. The success of strategy management undoubtedly lies in “timely execution.” Agility is the key success factor in dynamic strategy management; agility can only be achieved through persistence, improvement, and following up, so execution can produce the expected results in the context of the strategic choices, and enhance strategic planning and execution as a continuous cycle to accelerate business performance, maximize its market position and reap as many benefits as possible.

A good strategy is an integral discipline with many sub-components: Strategy can only be sustainable if the organization's leaders are leading it. Strategy is a very broad term now and it has been broken down into many sub-strategy with specialized fields: Multiple strategies can then be weighed to leverage resources effectively and implement without enlarging gaps or causing problems in the other side of the business. Unless executed well, the greatest strategy will flop and without all dependencies and influences placed in the melting pot, risk-management of the greatest strategy will be a costly activity.

In order to ensure strategy execution is going smoothly, you have to clarify your strategy content and context; ensure the sub-strategies such as innovation strategy, information technology strategy, people strategy, etc, are fully integrated into a dynamic and executable planning, clarify vision and values, encompass everything from analysis of business intelligence to make resource alignment, to enhancing cross-functional communication and collaboration, etc. The processes should not be rigid; you always need to be able to adjust for adapting to the emerging events or disruptions. By considering different scenarios into strategy, you are most likely to be prepared for these changes.

Enhancing a healthy strategy management cycle is about setting the right course and pace to solve a chains of problems: Many organizations are inundated with too many issues; some are long term or intermediates concerns, others are imminent, need to be taken care of right away; there are strategic issues and tactical tasks, etc. A good strategy helps to diagnose the most critical problems that affect a business's competitive position, and set choices for taking step-wise actions. There’s the problem that the same word means different things to different people. A strategy practitioner can read business context, take a holistic look at the variety of business relationships and interconnectivity, connect the wide dots to both frame the right problems in order to solve them effectively, avoid fixing symptoms only and get stuck at “problem-solving impasse.”

Many intriguing problems today are complex and interdependent with interactive pieces and “conflict” goals. Some problems are the symptom; other problems seem irrational. Business executives need to have one eye on the current problem-solving efforts and results of products/services deliveries for achieving expected business results, The other eye better be on the future and how rising market trends, changing customer expectations, evolving technologies, competitor behaviors, and governmental regulations may need to shift the objectives of a strategic plans. Strategic leaders can set the right priority for dealing with those top concerned problems by aligning the right resources and skill sets. For those that you cannot solve with given resources, knowledge and capabilities, it’s important to break them down piece by piece, do deep analysis, identify gaps, and continuously develop relevant business competency.

A strategy is nothing without effective execution. The best strategy in the world is only as good as the outcomes it produces. It’s important to periodically review the strategy plans and keep track of strategy implementation so as to be close to the objective in an ever-dynamic business environment. Results are best when the strategy implementation processes are robust in terms of initiation, planning, execution, monitoring & controlling. Strategy practitioners are flexible to make choices, innovative to explore emerging opportunities; risk-intelligent to prevent or minimize risks, and resilient to fail fast and fail forward.


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