Most important leadership behavior critical to company success is strategic thinking. It is therefore necessary to understand the concept of business strategies, and myths surrounding its concept that may be keeping your business from reaching greater levels of success.
Some of these business strategy myths which your business cannot afford to get wrapped up in are as follows.
1: Strategy is a once-a-year process
Is Your Organization Strategic?”. “How often do you and your team meet to update your strategies?” Strategy is the primary vehicle for making vital resource reallocation decisions, but most leaders are not putting themselves or their teams in a position to succeed.
Business strategies are meant to be up and running in any functional business that aims to improve growth. If strategy in your organization is an annual event, you will not achieve sustained success.
Myth Buster — Conduct a monthly strategy tune-up where groups at all levels meet for one to two hours to review and calibrate their strategies.
2: Execution of strategy is more important than the strategy itself
You can have the most skilled driver and highest performance Ferrari in the world, but if you are driving that Ferrari on a road headed over a cliff, you are finished. A sure sign of a needlessly myopic view is that everything is an “either or,” rather than allowing for “and.” Strategy and execution are both important, but all great businesses begin with an insightful strategy.
Myth Buster — Take time to create a differentiated strategy built on insights that lead to unique customer value and then shape an execution plan that includes roles, responsibilities, communication vehicles, time frames and metrics.
3: Strategy is about being better than the competition
Your products and services are not better than your competitors. Why? Because “better” is subjective. “Is our product better than the competition?” is the wrong question. The real one is, “How is our product different from the competitor’s product in ways that customers value?”
Attempting to be better than the competition leads to a race of “best practices,” which results in competitive convergence. When you are doing the same thing in the same way as competitors and you are only trying to do them a little faster or better, it blurs the line of value between your company and competitors.
Remember that competitive advantage is defined as “providing superior value to customers”. It is not “beating the competition by being better.”
Myth Buster — Identify your differentiated value to specific customer groups by writing out your value proposition in one sentence.
4: Strategy is the same as mission, vision or goals
Since strategy is an abstract concept, it is often interchanged with the terms vision, mission and goals. How many times have you seen or heard a strategy that is “to be No. 1” or “to become the premier provider of a product ”?
Mission is your current purpose and vision is your future purpose, or aspirational end-game. Goals are what you are trying to achieve. And strategy is how you will get there.
Starting with an inexact statement of strategy will derail all of the other aspects of your planning and turn your business into the equivalent of the grammar school volcano science project with red-dyed vinegar and too much baking soda.
Myth Buster — Clearly distinguish your goals, strategies, mission and vision from one another.
If left unchecked, strategy myths can cause you and your business to fail. A 10-year study of 103 companies showed that the No. 1 one cause of business failure is bad strategy.
Ensure your business is not believing or working with this above stated myths and your business will soar higher than a pigeon with a belly full of uncooked rice.