STAGE 4a) OUR STRATEGY - DESCRIBE

“If you try to be everything to everyone

you'll end up being nothing to no-one.”

Anon

 

After evaluating we need to commit to a strategy. We have to make the hard choices about what we will do, and what we will not do. This takes courage - the hardest decision for management is what NOT to do, causing their appetite often to be greater than their stomach can handle.

We need to describe our strategy specifically in ways that everyone in the company can understand and align behind. Strategies are implemented through hundreds of low-ranking decisions, not top-down or through powerpoint presentations.

The primary choice is the target customer we will design our business to serve in the future. This customer needs a compelling value proposition to choose us over competitors.

Questions to answer

  • What will be our future battlefield?
    • Who will be our target customer that we will design our business for?
    • What will be our core product range where we make our profit?
    • Which markets will be be in?
    • What will be our core channels?
  • Why will customers buy from us in the future (our value proposition)?
  • What will be our future competitive advantage?
    • What new capabilities will we need to build?
    • Will we need to acquire any assets/capabilities/new business models?
  • Do we have a powerful guiding purpose?
  • Have we set a energising BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)?
  • What will we STOP doing?
  • Can we articulate our strategy in one sentence?

Example Framework: Strategy Triangle

We should have a specific target time for achieving our strategy - 3 years is typical, giving enough time for dramatic business model changes while still delivering before we all die of old age. Our strategy has to specify:

  • Our Battlefield - where we compete. We will choose our target customer, specific our core product range, which markets we will serve and which channels we will sell through
  • Our Value Proposition to customers. The reason they will buy our projects before competitors
  • Our Competitive Advantage to deliver this. What do we do special? We have advantaged, assets, capabilities and a culture that supports this value poroposition
  • Our Purpose to give us meaning.

Additional Frameworks

  • Our strategy in less than 40 words
  • Strategy Checklist
  • Our Future Battlefield
  • BHAG
  • Porras/Collins Vision Framework
  • Product/Market Targets
  • Osterwalder Business Canvas