Developing a winning strategy is defining the means and specifying the solutions to be implemented to reduce the gap between what is best done and what clients want. Let us look at all this in practice.
The development of a strategy always begins with a precise analysis of the context and conditions in which the activity is carried out. Strengths and weaknesses are then assessed about the main competitors.
As a result of this study, the routes for competitive advantage are then identified.
The strengths and weaknesses analysis will be performed using the SWOT Matrix. Paradoxically, this study will have to be wary of behavior that is a little too innovative.
They encourage to neglect the filling of the “strengths” and assets of the company to give priority to the treatment of the “opportunities” case without establishing a solid link between the two.
According to Porter, there are two paths of competitive advantage: differentiation or cost reduction. This ultra-concise scheme has been somewhat shaken by the Blue Ocean theory of W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. This new approach to strategic design calls for a two-track approach when exploring a pristine area of competition. It is indeed a question of building the barriers to entry as quickly as possible.
In all cases, the entire value chain will have to be redesigned according to the chosen strategy: manufacturing, logistics, marketing, human resources. The budgets and method of financing will be specified and declined.
If we use the heading definition of this page, it can also be declined in the future :
According to Kaplan, if 90% of the strategic approaches fail to meet their objectives, it is not because of a lack of wording but because of the difficulties of implementation.
It is true that the concept of strategy has always been marked by a theorization that is somewhat extreme. And this excess of theorization, which envelops the concept of strategy with a kind of untouchable veil for the common man, is probably the main handicap to its extension. That said, it is not a theory that is needed at the moment but a practice.
As Robert Kaplan rightly pointed out, if 90% of the strategic approaches fail to meet their objectives, it is not because of a lack of wording but because of the difficulties of implementation. The implementation of the strategy calls for the coherence of the organization and mentalities.
Faced with complexity, the company of the 21st century is more in search of the accumulation of intelligence and a natural assumption of responsibility to become reactive than of dilution of the decision in an ultra-hierarchical pyramid.
The most operational strategies will be alliance and cooperation rather than destruction and elimination. Moreover, in a world characterized by rapid change, it is also prudent to take into account emerging strategies as Henry Mintzberg had rather well exposed them a few years ago in this critical book of over-planning and still current events.
The concept of effectiveness is thus defined as the ability to exploit the means available, to use the right tools (methods in particular) and to make sufficient efforts to achieve this goal as planned.
It is a rather deterministic universe, where the grain of sand that traps the gears and derails the model does not exist. The goal is then the consequence of the means employed. Experience teaches us that this grain of sand exists. It is a good idea to undertake a risk study to ensure that we know how to react if necessary.
Rather than start by defining a goal and acquiring the means to achieve it another approach somewhere joins the James G. March garbage can model. The first step is to carry out an opportunity study based on the means and resources available: what are the goals accessible in a reasonable time?
This method can be refined by Swot analysis a point an Ansoff matrix in order to favor the most favourable factors available. A cooperative approach is required. See also Saras Sarasvathy’s “small steps” approach.