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Strategy is a combination of choices that a business makes and implements to achieve its guiding purpose. This may include

choosing customers / segments

choosing products and/or services and varieties within them

choosing geographies

choosing the value proposition

choosing how the value is configured

choosing how the value is delivered


Strategy need not be an explicit exercise. A professional who goes about his job in

chosen way and manner and consistently winning customers with the valu e he delivers and expanding his business does have a strategy even if he hadn’t thought about strategy or spent hours analyzing his competitors / industry.

Strategy exercise need not be an annual event or for that matter occupy one’s

calendar periodically. As the situation demands or as foreseen, strategy exercise should kick start. In a happening industry / environment companies may be forced to relook at their strategy every six months. In a sedate or mature industry, strategy can even be a once in two or three year’s affair. The determinant for the timing of strategy exercise is the ground situation (either real or forecasted) and not the calendar. However nothing stops periodic review of business strategy to confirm assumptions / choices made and that the performance is on desired lines.

Strategy as formed should be flexible to accommodate changes as may be

necessitated by changing (either real or forecasted) situation. This requires feedback systems that track how well, strategy originally formed is implemented and serves its purpose.

Every business must keep learning about its business / customers / performance / competitors / suppliers / substitutes / any factor that impacts its revenue and the very purpose for which it exists

Strategy may be, formally, formed at the top but the inputs for the same should

come from all interested sources from within and from all corners of a business / company. Feedback systems play a huge role in strategy formation.

Strategy = Thinking + action. Strategy is “an elaborate and systematic plan of action” is how the dictionary defines it. Strategy sans action is not strategy but just a theorization of how an organization should move forward.

Critical factors in strategy formation are capabilities, environment and strategic


refers to industrial, regulatory and social environments. Strategic insight (customer

insight + market insight + feedback) refers to the knowledge that a company develops

by observing and learning about

Capabilities involve both internal and partner capabilities while environment

how well it’s products / services are received by the market

customer experiences and what is missing in that experience

changing tastes / preferences of customers

how substitutes and complementary products / services are shaping up

how various players and their capabilities threaten / complement the businesses’ position

how the business has performed in meeting the demands of the customers / market, where it has failed, where it succeeded and what it needs to achieve

gaps in capabilities, resources and infrastructure


A business needs to formulate / reformulate strategy under following situations.

Revenue / Profit concerns Refreshed New business market goals New (Re) Strategic product / Formulate
Revenue /
product /