Old strategy is dead. New strategy is alive and evolving
Recently I have been reading, with interest, numerous articles about why strategy is dead. While these articles are indeed well thought out, I get the sense that the perspective being put forward is based on the fact that strategic thinking is static, and that the natural evolutionary process of change is not a part of that strategic perspective. And I am not just talking about refreshing ones thinking every 3-6 months – I am talking about viewing strategy from the perspective of the new world order that we find ourselves in – and not in the “stone ages” of 5 years ago.
A good strategic thinker lives and breathes a world of change. If they didn’t, they would always be outdated in their thinking (and would become a dinosaur in quick order). And that is where the doom and gloom writers of the death of strategy have made an error. It’s less about strategy and strategic thinking, and more about the person who attempts that strategic thinking without being able to adapt. The person that can’t adapt is not a strategic thinker and therefore never was a true strategist.
A good strategic thinker must be able to sway with the winds of change and current reality, but still has the ability to think forward, regardless of the situation.
Speed kills – should we really allow it?
Speed is becoming one of the key elements of our business reality. However, while speed for speed sake might be an option, it is not always the best way to make decisions. In my book, Big Bang for Business I talk about our Nike mentality that is prevailing in our society today. The “Just do it” philosophy that leads to Quick Decisions; decisions that are made largely via gut feel or instinct and for the sole reason of getting the decision behind us so that we can move onto the next Quick Decision. I suggested that the “Right Decision, made Quickly” would be a better option because it has four distinct differences when compared to the “Quick Decision”:
It conveys the idea that some thought went into the decision
It conveys the idea that some information, data, or valuable business intelligence was consulted
It conveys the idea that questions were asked, and
It conveys the idea that some alternatives were considered
All of which happened Quickly because of the need for speed. Having this type of capability available makes decision making easier, less risky and fast.
The biggest danger in making Quick Decisions is that one will often automatically follow one’s competitors (not lead – because true leadership takes thought and effort) – it’s the easiest, most logical and most dangerous way to make decisions in today’s world. If you don’t have some form of differentiation then all you are competing on is price, and that is not a sustainable business model.
New strategy approach is alive and well – and the winners are using it
Yes, there may indeed be a need to redefine strategy or strategic planning or strategic thinking by today’s circumstances and requirements, however let’s not throw strategy out totally based on the past. Adapt it to meet your current and future needs, and don’t lose sight of the one thing that, if done well, will make you more relevant to your potential customer or client. After all, if you can improve your attractiveness to that group, your future is pretty much assured.
Guaranteed, the Apple’s and Google’s of this word have not abandoned strategic thinking. So why should you? They have just reinvented the model to meet the changed needs of our current environment and are teaching us how to do it better. Just watch them and learn. Then do it yourself – in a way that meets your needs.
“Don’t simply do what others do. Don’t do what others tell you to do. Take it all in and decide for yourself. Then get it done.” – Neville Pokroy
Strategy is evolving
By Neville Pokroy
Neville Pokroy has over 30 years of experience in all aspects of business growth, strategy and marketing, from big business to sole proprietorships. His hands-on experience spans the most basic to the most strategic, and everything in between. This has provided him with tremendous insight at all levels of the marketing discipline, and in particular, how it impacts on the ability of businesses to leverage marketing as a prerequisite for growth.
Neville’s specific expertise includes: digital marketing, social media, interactive marketing, strategic planning, consulting and creative services, customer development marketing (acquisition, retention, re-activation), business-to-business (B2B) and consumer marketing (B2C), creative services, coaching, consulting, training and staff development, business strategy, and organizational and human resource planning to establish new marketing capabilities within organizations.
His industry experience includes: consumer goods, retail, financial services, professional services, technology, manufacturing, distribution, chemicals, property management and healthcare, on both the client and service side of the business. He has worked for companies, such as Kimberly-Clark, Ault Foods, Black Photo Corporation and Edgars.
Focusing on strategic marketing, Neville bridges the gap between business strategy and marketing implementation through the development of comprehensive strategic marketing strategies and planning.
Neville holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Accounting, and a postgraduate honours degree in Marketing. He served on the board of Orchestra Toronto, is past VP–Marketing for the Association of Independent Consultants, President of Stantech Marketing Inc. and a Principal in Mastermind Solutions Inc., a broad-based business consulting firm.
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