Organizational strategy answers three questions.
- How can we create customers?
- How can we keep customers?
- 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.”
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:
- Too little time planning the strategic planning meeting.
- Customer-value isn’t identified and understood.
- Confusion about what customers love about you.
- Lack of clarity about the business you are in. Sadly, many businesses actually believe their product is their business.
- Dead horse beating. Lousy strategy meetings lose momentum in minutia.
- Focus on solving problems rather than maximizing competencies and exploiting opportunities.
- 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:
- Define your business. What do you really do?
- Understand the real value you bring customers, from your customer’s point of view.
- Clarify internal competencies and values that make you unique.
- Paint a clear picture of success. How will you know when you succeed?
- Exploit opportunities more than solving problems.
- Eliminate all “good” options. The real courage of leadership is eliminating options. Porter said, “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”
- Choose what’s best for the entire organization even if it might limit your department.
- 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.
- Mechanisms that monitor and measure progress.
- 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?