The Power of the Right Business Strategy
Our passion is to learn and share important strategy lessons – to help you provide genuine strategic leadership. While a single blueprint for business strategy success does not exist, you can gain great insight by reviewing cases and finding patterns and themes of what works and what does not.
What is a Business Strategy?
A business strategy is the “how” a business intends to achieve their desired outcomes. The right strategy helped Apple, Google, Southwest Airlines, Amazon and others to become the most admired companies. The wrong strategies have put countless large and small companies “out of business.” Doing the due diligence needed to find and implement the right business strategy is vital in today’s growing competitive world.
Finding the Right Strategy
While a single blueprint for business strategy success does not exist, you can gain great insight by reviewing cases and finding patterns and themes of what works and what does not. Keys to finding the right answer is to ask the right questions, and to identify patterns, connections and themes.
Start by asking the question “how.” You will need to ask this question several times to get to the core answers. For instance, we might start by asking the broad question of how some of the most “admired companies” are successful:
- How was Apple able produce a new tablet in an over saturated computer hardware market, and redefine how people experience the internet?
- How were Larry Page and Servey Brin with Google able to redefine search and advertising?
- How does Warren Buffett consistently make investments in certain companies wisely and receive the returns he does?
- How did Southwest Airlines successfully enter a highly competitive, unprofitable airline market, decide to “the low cost airlines” (the what) and become the most profitable airline company in the world?
- How did Jeff Bezos turn his initial ecommerce idea into the world’s largest online retail company in the world?
Look for Patterns, Connections and Themes
As you repeatedly ask the “how” question, look for connections, patterns and themes of what works and what doesn’t. Look both broadly (e.g., across businesses) and deeply (e.g., within your industry or business). Connections are relationships between two or more variables, ideas, people, events, etc. They help you to find and understand “cause and effect.” Patterns are approaches or models that can be used repeatedly as guides to help you succeed. 3M’s product development process might be an example. Themes are broad, recurring lessons. For instance, a theme that Jim Collins found was that all of the companies that went from good to great, had “level 5 leaders.”
Resources to Help You Learn and Get Started
- 5 Future Strategies
- Agile Strategic Planning
- Apple: Fundamental Principles
- Apple: Steve Jobs – Find Your Passion
- Apple: Strategies of Apple Inc.
- Blue Ocean Strategy – Review
- Built to Love – Review
- Market Driven Strategy – Review
- Profit From The Core – Review
- Strategy Maps – Review
- Systems Advantage - Highlights
- The Discipline of Market Leaders – Review
- The Starfish and Spider – Review
- The Predictioneer’s Game
- 24-Hour Customer
- Does Your Company’s Strategy Need Stretching? – Highlights
- Future Minds
- Disruptive Innovation
- What is Innovation and Invention?
- Agile Strategic Planning
- Example of a Strategic Plan Model – Amazon (External Analysis)
- Example of a Strategic Plan Model – Amazon (Internal Analysis)
- Strategic planning tools – Amazon use of SWOT-TOWS
- Amazon – Use of Ansoff Matrix Strategy Tool
- Facilitating Strategy Challenge