10 Ways to Get Where You Want to Go

Organizational strategy answers three questions.

  1. How can we create customers?
  2. How can we keep customers?
  3. What do we do better than competitors that is difficult to copy?

Peter Drucker explained it this way, “The purpose of a business is to create and keep customers.”

your product isn't your business

I’ve attended and led many strategy meetings over the years. Most of them felt good but many were a colossal waste of time filled with stale analysis and political puffing.

Why Strategy Meetings Fail:

  1. Too little time planning the strategic planning meeting.
  2. Customer-value isn’t identified and understood.
  3. Confusion about what customers love about you.
  4. Lack of clarity about the business you are in. Sadly, many businesses actually believe their product is their business.
  5. Dead horse beating. Lousy strategy meetings lose momentum in minutia.
  6. Focus on solving problems rather than maximizing competencies and exploiting opportunities.
  7. Too much time spent “predicting” an uncertain future.

Bonus: Strategic planning fails because there’s too little time for casual conversation and private reflection.

10 ways to get where you want to go:

  1. Define your business. What do you really do?
  2. Understand the real value you bring customers, from your customer’s point of view.
  3. Clarify internal competencies and values that make you unique.
  4. Paint a clear picture of success. How will you know when you succeed?
  5. Exploit opportunities more than solving problems.
  6. Eliminate all “good” options. The real courage of leadership is eliminating options. Porter said, “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”
  7. Choose what’s best for the entire organization even if it might limit your department.
  8. Develop simple language that expresses strategy so that everyone, especially customers know the value you bring. Strategy that’s hard to explain is a waste.
  9. Mechanisms that monitor and measure progress.
  10. Persistent, tenacious, recurring follow through and execution. Nothing really happens in meetings.

A great strategy explains how you will be uniquely useful to current and potential customers?

Strategy is a huge topic. What are the core elements of strategy development?