Strategy is a ‘how-to’ plan to achieve your company goals. Strategic management starts from the very top and requires the company’s management to know the business inside out.
The essence of great strategy is making choices – clear, tough choices, like which business to be in and which not to be in, where to play in the business you choose, how to win where you play, what capabilities and competencies you will turn into core strengths and how your internal systems will turn those choices and capabilities into consistently excellent performance on the marketplace. Everything starts with aspiration.
Unless winning is your ultimate aspiration, your firm is unlikely to invest the right resources in sufficient amounts to create a sustainable advantage. Aspiration alone is not enough: your company needs ‘where’ and ‘how’ choices in order to act. Without them, it can’t win.
Five questions that anyone leading their companies or divisions in the corporate world should ask for better navigated results
- What is our winning aspiration?
- Where will we play? Geography, product categories, consumer segments, channels, etc.
- How will we win? Our value proposition and our competitive advantage
- What capabilities need to be in place? Our reinforcing activities and our specific configuration – which capabilities are needed to win
What management systems are required? Support systems, structures and measures required to support our choices