Strategy: Got one?

Working as a strategist, I am constantly amazed at what passes for business strategy. “We are going to sell more than our competition”, or “We will increase sales in APAC” is NOT a valid strategy. If you find language like this in your documents, you are in trouble. Not many people are aware of what a good strategy is, much less how to manage a complex one across several business units or departments.In this market, having a clear, concise and cogent strategy can make the difference between that raise and that government unemployment form. As a thought leader, you need to know how to evaluate one, and how to build one for your own benefit.

Here are two resources you need in order to get it straight:

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy, by Richard P. Rumelt.

This book changed my relationship to strategy.  In clear language, and with reasonable logic, Rumelt lays out the importance of strategy, and how to simply evaluate logic to make sure it works. My favorite quote from this book is the definition of strategy itself: “Just as a lever uses mechanical advantage to multiply force, strategic advantage multiplies the effectiveness of resources and/or actions.”

Are you sure you have a strategy>  By Hambrick and Fredrickson

The Hambrick model for strategy is well-worn, and has been banging around the hallways for some time. But like all classics, there is a good reason for its longevity. The Diamond model for assessing strategy can be a useful tool for both developing, and for educating strategists on how to think around the challenge.

Grab a highlighter and have these with you on your next flight. They will change your life.

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