So the question is what makes a strategy effective?

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“You don’t need a formal strategy role to help shape your organization’s strategic direction. Start by moving beyond frameworks and communicating in a more engaging way”

The importance of strategy in driving the success or failure of a business has been recognized for many years. To be effective, however, your strategy should meet it goals and objectives. (Output, Sales, Quality, Value, Innovation, Cost-Reduction).

Devise an action plan that is a road map to turn your strategy into results. Action plans support the key strategic objectives that you select as the most important initiatives for the next 1 to 2 years.  The degree of effectiveness of a strategy actually depends upon how well the action plan achieves its objectives.

4 tips for you, the CEO /Business owner, to consider –

1. Develop industry specific insights

  • Core Strategy Frameworks, not directly applicable as they are not industry specific
  • Strategy is an iterative process, it evolves. Make it adaptive.
  • Understand and incorporate the economics, psychology and ‘laws’ of your Industry.
  • Deepen your understanding of how to be a strategist in your industry.

2. Identify risks

  • Look for company or industry disrupting changes that can make or break companies. This may involve deep understanding of industry-specific technologies, but much less knowledge of general technology trends.
  • Nascent competitors are easily overlooked (weak competitive signal).

3. Communicate effectively

  • Regular meetings to discuss strategy topics.
  • Developing messages that can break through the clutter.
  • Experiential exercises to boost effectiveness of strategic communication within a team.
  • Support discussions with data that is engaging and easy to manipulate.  “Make analytics part of your overarching competitive strategy. You’ll arm yourself with the best evidence and quantitative tools for making the best decisions—big and small, every day”

4. Bridge the execution gap

  • Bridge the execution gap between strategy and results, because this is where real work gets done and value gets created.
  • Breakdown strategy into department, team and each goal.
  • Ensure that you have the right people in the right jobs and everyone is working to their greatest potential.
  • Get buy-in from everyone by conducting strategy workshops and solution sessions.

Sources:  McKinsey Quarterly July 2012 (Michael Birshan and Jayanti Kar); Competing Analytics (Thomas H. Davenport)

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