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.
In today’s competitive environment it’s necessary to be strategic from the start – when developing your product, and even when you’re going through the legal processes of forming your company. Always think about second – and third-order consequences. Here’s a quote by billionaire Ray Dalio, the founder of the Bridgewater Associates, and one of the most shrewd business-thinkers we know:
“Failing to consider second- and third-order consequences is the cause of a lot of painfully bad decisions, and it is especially deadly when the first inferior option confirms your own biases. Never seize on the first available option, no matter how good it seems, before you’ve asked questions and explored.”
First, we collect basic information and agree to have a call with you. During the initial consultation we get to know you and your business, and go through the ways you’ve done business thus far. Based on the collected information we prepare a proposal with the initial ideas that we have. If our approach seems feasible, we will create a roadmap for the first 12 week period and start the cooperation. Usually, we have weekly or by-weekly Skype sessions with our clients.
We don’t have fixed rates. With each client we evaluate the needs and goals, how much value we can bring to the table, and to what extent our contribution is required. Sometimes our clients only want a supportive advice once a month, and other times it’s intense period of focusing on moving the needle as much as possible in the shortest time-frame possible. We do have a habit of using a lower fixed fee plus a success fee combination pricing model. As Nassim Taleb says, all parties should have skin in the game.
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 advantages.
- Which 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.
- Winning Aspiration
- Field of play
- Value proposition