What really is business strategy?

That’s an easy one, you might think. It’s defining how we’re going to stay competitive in the future. Or, it’s planning how we’re going to grow and maintain market share, you might say. Whatever your viewpoint, it’s important that both you and your strategic team are all perfectly aligned on what is, and is not, strategy. Authors Ken Favaro, Kasturi Rangan and Evan Hirsh provide a succinct decomposition of the term Strategy in an article published on behalf of Strategy & (formerly Booz & Company). In Strategy: An Executive’s Definition they provide the following proposition:

Strategy … is the result of choices executives make, on where to play and how to win, to maximize long-term value.

In a well articulated piece, they provide deeper insights into the ‘where to play’ and ‘how to win’ questions that all strategic planning exercises must answer. So, aside from the obvious questions around which customers will be targeted, they go on to describe the need to create a distinctive value proposition and to acquire capabilities needed to deliver that value proposition. More importantly, in sentiments that exactly mirror Michael E. Porter’s philosophy, they assert that the target market, value proposition and capabilities must all hang tightly together in order to provide sustainable long-term value. In a previous post I shared the Mckinsey framework for Mastering the building Blocks of Strategy Formulation.  The framework starts with a framing exercise where the entire team work together to agree which specific set of questions will be addressed during strategy formulation. The above definition and questions it addresses will be important in holding foremost in mind. Enjoy! Read the full article here: Strategy: An Executive’s Definition

Nina Epellé
Nina Epellé
Founder and Principal Consultant, Digital Gold HQ

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