I have read 100s of books, papers, articles, etc on strategy over the past 10 years to the extent that I can now write my own book on strategy. But, I am not going to do that rather I would ask questions that can awaken the sleeping giants in most people (notice I didn’t say ALL as that would mean me over promising).
At the end of the day, strategy is nothing without result. This is time to start asking pertinent questions that would stimulate the thinking faculty of managers so that they can go back to their strategy drawing board.
One problem with making history is that time will eventually overtake it. People on the other hand will always look up to the future for solutions to their problems. Good strategies should be aimed at making future and not history.
People can only remember past event as far back as they still feel the impact of the historic event. That impact in this context is the result that people got from past strategic business decisions.
Blackberry made history and they are gone just like history, while Apple made future and is still making the future; which I think will ensure lasting impact. Strategy that does not guarantee the future is nothing and should be completely avoided.
A wise man once defined insanity as the act of doing same thing over and again, yet expecting a different result. A strategy that keeps yielding same below per result should be discarded while there is still time for some remedial action. It takes integrated thinking capability for a manager to really formulate a winning strategic formula.
Is result really everything?
Yes, take football game as an example. The winning team is always the team with superior tactical strategy. No same person will tell you that a relegated team has a superior strategy than a team that won the current year’s league.
Kodak was once a household name in the photography ecosystem but I am sure that the younger generations would be asking what Kodak is. Kodak failed to change their strategy to suit the ever evolving photography ecosystem and they paid dearly for it. Even when the result was not forth coming, the top management of Kodak still didn’t deem it fit to take their failing strategy to the board room lab.
The name IBM would have been a forgotten past or history if once failing strategy was not changed for sustainable refocused business model. Those with basic computer history knowledge will agree with me that no one talk about computer in the 1970s without talking about IBM.
IBM understands that result is all that really matters. They also understand that delay is dangerous as far as strategic direction is concerned. Blackberry would still be a dominant force in the smart Phone industry today they had reacted quickly enough to thwart the aggressive R&D of their competitions in the likes of Apple and Samsung.
The result was there for Blackberry to react to but the inertia of the top echelon cost the company a very lucrative lion share of an industry that would always be profitable and attractive.
How about technological transformation?
Transformational strategic thinking revolves around business technology. A new thinking that is based on data driven leadership is needed for fit for purpose strategy to be made. The impact of data science and machine learning should not be overlooked in the quest to formulate a winning strategy in this digital age. A winning strategy must have enough disruptive prowess so as not to become stale and worthless.
I will concluding this piece on strategy is nothing without result by adopting my high school days debate closing line ‘…with these few points of mine, I am sure I have been able to convince you and not to confuse you that strategy is nothing without result’.
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