Strategy: Good Strategy or Bad Strategy? 5 Lessons to Follow

Strategy: Good Strategy or Bad Strategy? 5 Lessons to Follow

Tackling the austerity created by the 2008 financial crisis and the 2011 debt crisis, leaders today must focus in on competitive strategy to leverage the new reality. A leader’s central task is developing and implementing a strategy. Whether the leader is a CEO, an entrepreneur, CEO of a Fortune 500 or a small to medium size enterprise, a church pastor, or a government leader, the leader must provide a specific and coherent response to obstacles faced my today’s enterprises and muster available resources to bear to achieve results.

Surprisingly, good strategy is unexpected. This is because most organizations do not have a strategy. In its place, these organizations have “visions” and mistake financial goals for strategy, and pursue muddling activities or “dog’s dinner” of conflicting policies and actions.

Good strategy attempts to harness and apply power where it will have the greatest effect. Strategy is a united and coordinated “set of commitments and actions planned” to exploit core competencies and gain a competitive advantage.  For the leader the first challenge is to understand that good strategy’s starting point is getting clear about the challenge.

Unfortunately, most organizations that claim to “have a strategy” have nothing. They have set some financial goals, but a real coherent strategy does not exist. This is because their plans do not provide the road map as to how to achieve the goals and provides no sense as to whether achieving the goals will solve the core challenges. Five lessens of good strategy are:

  1. Strategy begins at determining what is going on to comprehensively assess the situation, and then taking action.
  2. Identifying the critical issues, developing pivot points to effect change, focusing on action and employing resources collectively provides the foundation of the plan.
  3. Avoiding “scope drift” and battle the never-ending organizational disarray must be exploited to keep the execution of the plan under control.
  4. The leader must dissect the complexity of the organization’s obstacles into simpler problems that can be understood and dealt with.
  5. Follow the three essential components: 1) a diagnosis of the environment, 2) the choice of an overall guiding policy, and 3) the design of coherent action.

Unfortunately, many attempts a instituting a strategy lack a good diagnosis. Step back. Analyze the situation. Comprehend the micro and macro picture. Then go forward with action.

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