A common struggle organisations face these days is ensuring that their workforce has the right capabilities at all levels to align processes and teams with business strategy to deliver exponential growth. It is the responsibility of leaders to develop a robust masterplan.
In addition to devising a strategy they have the responsibility to execute it across the enterprise, business unit, or function. The success of a business rests on a reliable strategic roadmap. Strategy execution is the link between brilliant strategies and superior performance. While a strategy cascading plan bridges the gap between strategy and execution.
When formulating your game plan, here are seven crucial questions you can ask yourself to create a powerful blueprint.
Strategy question #1: Do we need to modify our business model?
A business model helps indicate what problems your business is solving, how and for whom. It is a combination of choices you make in your activities to bring the value proposition to life.
Re-examine your value proposition by asking: “How can we offer even more unique value to all our stakeholders?”
Strategy question #2: Can we go beyond product innovation?
Strategy discussions often focus mainly on the product or service. Technology businesses tend to do this often. There are more critical things to a value chain than the product itself. All decisions and processes must be tailored towards the value proposition.
Make sure to go beyond the product and explore the impact on other functions such as marketing, operations, finance, sales, human resource, etc.
Strategy question #3: How do we recapture the company ethos?
If your company has existed successfully for some time, it must have been doing something well over the years. Connecting with the ethos, identifying that uniqueness and reapplying it to boost your strategy is an excellent way of fuelling your reflection process about business strategy.
This doesn’t mean that you must continue doing what was being done in the past; but an adapted version keeping the essence alive may be just what your organisation needs.
Strategy question #4: How can we imitate with pride?
It is well understood that imitating your competitors is not very smart and will not take you very far. You compete in the same areas, and all this competition leads to is price erosion. However, copying to learn can pay off big time. Many great companies operate locally. In this information era, you can find companies in different parts of the world and learn from their practices and imbibe to them for your benefit. Attending industry conferences outside your own is a great way to learn. For example, if you are a banker, try visiting a pharmaceutical convention. I’m certain you will come back inspired and with something new ignited within.
Strategy questions #5: How can we take advantage of the economic and political climate around?
Take a look at the world around you. What is the buzz around? Diversity, Digital, Artificial Intelligence, Design thinking? Try and learn about what other companies may be noticing in trends even if it does not directly relate with yours.
Having a pulse on the existing and upcoming policies of the government and society can be extremely helpful. Is your government going to bring in new rules which you can leverage? How could the power shift in another country be beneficial to you?
Strategy question #6: Can we build an execution edge?
After all, the purpose of the strategy lies in being executed well. That is what provides a competitive edge. Although business strategy needs to reinvent itself every five years, execution capabilities last much longer.
Make sure to extract out what has been working well in the current and past execution. While focussing too much on implementation at the time of developing the strategy is not advisable, but keeping it in your peripheral vision is.
Strategy questions #7: Can we create shared value?
Sustainability in business is essential today. Shared value helps to incorporate social value into the strategic positioning of an organisation. It is not about corporate social responsibility (CSR). It goes far beyond philanthropy.
Michael Porter a professor at Harvard Business School and the creator of Porter’s Five Force Analysis, has said that you create shared value by enhancing the competitive position of a company and at the same time advancing the society in which it operates.
Simultaneously advancing the company and society is critical. Arriving at a win-win for both and getting to a positive sum means making choices which will strengthen the strategic position of the organisation and at the same time offer benefits to society. It’s your challenge as a strategist to arrange that marriage between the two.
You can use these questions as a reference, but it is essential to come up with your own questions pertinent to your industry, environment, and company. Asking the right open-ended questions will help you construct a winning strategy for your organisation.
Views are personal.
The author is the founder and CEO of Talent Power Partners a global Leadership Development company based in Bangalore. She is a Leadership Development Specialist, an ICF Certified Executive Coach [PCC] and author of the book - Team Decision Making.
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