Demystifying business strategy

  • Strategy development is typically over complicated.
  • Organisations need strategy planning processes that are not only quick to develop, but highly adaptable once they are up and running.
  • This articles identifies five key principles for business strategy development

The direction and strategy for an organisation is pivotal to its success. Yet despite its importance, gaining clarity and agreeing on a useful way forward can feel like eating soup with a fork.

For many organisations, strategy development comes down to a one or two-day offsite with the executive/leadership team. While it’s great that time is devoted to it, for many executives, in practice this can lead to:

  • unproductive discussion about the past with frustrating post-match analysis
  • philosophical debate about strategy, (for example, the difference between vision and mission or which model to adopt)
  • laborious wordsmithing
  • little chance for true debate on alternatives
  • deciding on ‘slight tweaks to last year, and adding ten per cent to business goals’ 

‘Outputs’ are typically still achieved, such as a vision statement, a set of business goals and a ‘strategy on a page’ — however this is often:

  • a document which few people refer to or care about
  • something which drives little change to ‘business as usual’, ways of working or results

Other organisations invite strategy consultants in to work with their teams, conducting analysis and writing recommendations at great expense.

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