Scroll to top
© Optimize Consulting Inc. | All Rights Reserved

Don't be surprised…..

Optimize Blog - January 23, 2017 - 0 comments

We often find clients that doggedly follow a strategic direction despite plenty of warning signs giving ample notice that the direction is not going to deliver success. This is usually due to the fact that the strategy process adopted is overly formulaic, the strategy is supporting the collective executive ego, there is not enough governance around the strategy process to monitor trends and conditions or the company is so wrapped up in execution it neglects to look ‘outside the window’ to see what is happening in the environment.
Former Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes now famous quote “I’ve been frankly confused by this fascination that everybody has with Netflix … Netflix doesn’t really have or do anything that we can’t or don’t already do ourselves” provides insight into an example of not fully understanding what strategy actually means and requires.
There is always a balance required between the ruthless and relentless pursuit of delivering a winning strategy and the requirement to constantly check that the strategy is still relevant and valid. As leaders this balance has to be achieved – there isn’t a choice in the matter and so if your overall approach is inwardly focused, wearing blinkers will inevitably catch you out.
Strong corporate leaders don’t assume that they know everything but instead, they seek to learn by making small bets and constantly adjusting in response to the findings. They hire outside consultants and charge them with the task of identifying the weaknesses in the business strategy. They encourage others to challenge the assumptions the organization is making or has made.
It is critical also to build diversity into the teams. Management teams with common backgrounds and perspectives can yield rapid, efficient decision making, but quick decisions made by groups with too much uniformity can filter data that does not fit their theories and overlook alternatives worthy of consideration. Constrained by inherent and often hidden biases, they may simply lack the ability to think broadly about alternatives.
The key here is achieving strategic coherence – the degree of alignment between a company’s strategy, its capabilities and the portfolio of products and services that it provides. Research by PWC demonstrates that the more cohesive a company is strategically, the better it performs. Strategy is not a document or an occasional exercise, it should be a way of looking at the world, interpreting experience and thinking about what the company is and why it matters.
A corporate leader needs to make a series of decisions on the basis of situations and circumstances that sometimes cannot be foreseen. So, success depends on penetrating the uncertainty of not always obvious situations to evaluate the facts, clarify the unknowns, to make decisions and then to execute with ruthless efficiency
Following a direction slavishly despite warning signs advising you of impending danger will inevitably lead to the organization becoming lost at best and destroyed at worst. To not be surprised, an organization needs to constantly update its understanding of the environment in which it operates – it is not an annual exercise……

Related posts

Post a Comment