Organizations always go back to the drawing board to redefine their business strategy and traditionally, Strategy would refer to setting up goals for short term and long term, and ways to go for it. But Strategy could be involved with going for the new market segment, setting up new business transformation initiatives like Digital transformation or Open Banking, or it could be to define ways and means to work on key focus areas. So, in simple terms strategy is to define what you want to achieve and how do you want to go about it. But, Strategy is designed to fail if it has not been built in a proper way to make it work.
So, the critical point is to develop the strategy in such a way that it enables the organization to achieve what it sets out to achieve. In our experiences in working with various organizations and developing a Business strategy or Digital Strategy or Strategy to solve business problem statement; we have experienced key success factors which could be referred to as below.
Understand your strength: It is important to have clarity on not only on organization strength but management & team strengths as well to develop long term business strategy. Your strength will only make it succeed. So, an external consultant may help you to build a nicely defined and documented strategy, but it has not been aligned to strength, it will fail to yield results as expected.
Assess trends and visualize wind movement: In the age of abundance information, one needs to go for deep-dive research to see and understand trends very clearly and align strategy to map with trends. For example, APIfication and Open Banking are major trends shaping up the banking industry and if the next phase of growth is not aligned with business models around APIs, chances are high for failure.
Go for Engagement: Many team members within the organization carry lots of ideation for organization and engaging with them will help to couple your business strategy with initiatives powered by not only senior management but your staff too. Google makes it point to encourage its employees to generate ideas and work on the same which goes and becomes part of Google product roadmap. A famous example would be Gmail when Paul Buchheit developed it while working at Google. If Sony management would not have put confidence in Ken Kutaragi’s idea to change video gaming, the world might not have seen Sony Playstation. Engagement is also critical to have buy-in from staff in implementation.
Make Technology central to Strategy: Technology trends are not only shaping the world but also impacting all kinds of businesses. Be it an advancement in Artificial intelligence/Machine Learning, API, Digital Technologies, cloud computing, automation, or blockchain; all have the potential to change business models. So, it is critical to have a technology-driven business strategy.
Conviction as part of Strategy: If you have an idea which is just way above any strategy and potential to change the way business is been done; have conviction and go for it. It could be possible that the same would become central to your strategy. When Steve Jobs thought about touchscreen-based smartphones, he went with conviction to make this as part of Apple’s strategy and it changed the world afterwords. Even today, we see many Fintechs or Startups founders go with their conviction and make that as part of their strategy.
There could be many other factors but the above ones we felt are key to build the right strategy to make it work. Next would try to cover ways and means to implement your strategy to start producing results.