You’d be surprised how often I find that employees of all levels are unable to clearly articulate the strategy of their company.
This includes people from the same company articulating several different versions of their company’s strategy, or people saying they just don’t know.
But you know what? If this is ringing a bell, your company is not unique.
I find one of the most important questions my clients can ask themselves is:
“What is the company’s Competitive Strategy and how does that influence our operations?”
Because without they typically spend more time “trying to do it all and being the master of none.”
So, what is a Competitive Strategy?
A Competitive Strategy is a fundamental decision companies make, and embrace, to achieve market leadership by raising expectations in a given area of expertise based on their specific customer needs and company strengths.
Once determined, this strategy become the driving force in your organization.
Based on the ideas in Michael Treacy’s and Fred Wiersema’s book The Discipline of Market Leaders, you decide if your company will be known for its:
Operational Excellence – focus on providing cost effective, systematic on-time delivery and highest quality products and services
Customer Intimacy – emphasis on providing customized approaches to meet your specific customers’ individualized needs
Product Leadership – commitment to being first on the market with new innovative products
And while you need to be competent in all three, you should be an expert in one.
I recommend you tackle this decision if you haven’t already and engage in in-depth conversation company-wide, because it will have rippling effects throughout your entire organization!
Committing to, understanding and aligning your business practices to your competitive strategy will increase your collective knowledge, efforts and results on what really drives success in your company.
So, based on your business and the market needs:
Which competitive strategy is your driving area of expertise?
How can you be good at the other competitive competencies without them interfering with your #1 Competitive Strategy?
What changes to company processes and culture are necessary to support these decisions?