What is Good Strategy?
I have run across a great book which I recommend anyone in a leadership position take the time to read:
Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The difference and why it matters
In his book, Richard makes a strong case that boardrooms are caught up in “wishful thinking” instead of robust strategic thinking. Taking us through interviews with top CEO’s of the largest US Corporations and companies, Richard paints a picture of a lack of rigorous thinking and clarity.
What is Good Strategy?
A good strategy is a coherent mix of policy and action designed to surmount a difficult, usually high-stakes challenge. All good strategy starts with a diagnosis of the issues that the organisation faces. It is here where clarity of thought is required and discussions should be open, factual and agreed.
Diagnosis then leads onto developing a guiding policy, so that it is clear to everyone what is required of them regarding fundamental issues such as pricing policy of different brands. Finally, but not least, there will be coherent actions that lead us towards set targets that the strategy points the way towards.
What is bad strategy?
When it is:
Goals are great and everyone should have them! However, goals in themselves don’t give us any clue about how to achieve them. Many of today’s businesses set goals thinking that they are being strategic, however they don’t address the real issues constraining success.
You know it’s a bad strategy when the board communicate using big words that few really understand the meaning such as:
“We will be a world-class organisation and destination of choice delivering benefits of acquisition and ownership.”
This says a lot about nothing at all.
A Dog’s Dinner
Where a scattergun approach has been used to describe the aspirations of the board and statements are littered with all types of results required for success.
Every organisation has problems that need addressing. If strategy doesn’t include the problem then there is denial. The elephant in the elevator is how Richard describes it
Good strategy gets to the heart of the challenge that the organisation faces. The book goes onto to describe how Apple turned things around from being two months from collapse, for example.
A great book in my opinion. Go and buy it!
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