A Framework and 10 Key Questions for Your Business Strategy


We've put together a list of questions and thoughts based on us studying a range of the latest theories on strategy, such a blue ocean strategy, future of management, renewing the core, open business models, etc. Here is a framework and 10 key questions for your business strategy that you can use to examine and develop your strategy with:

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Anything your business is doing right now will be copied soon. Many billion dollar industries and companies did not exist 10-15 years ago. How will you come up with a strategy that will make a difference?

Trends that drive the strategic turbulence

  1. Quicker access to information
  2. Increasing mobility of capital
  3. Increasing mobility of talent
  4. Low cost global competition
  5. Low capital intensity of new industries
  6. Compression of product and technology cycles

Strategic challenges

  1. Accelerate the pace of strategic renewal
  2. Make innovation everyone's job
  3. Create an engaging, inspiring workplace

Happy staff?

Intellect, obedience, diligence are commodities.
Passion, initiative and creativity are differentiators but can be withhold or given by employees. How good is your company to work for?

The Internet and its impact on strategy development

  • Internet gives everyone a voice
  • Internet widely distributes the tools of creativity
  • Decentralises anything
  • Equalises competition, information flow, distribution, resourcing, opportunity, etc.
  • Opposite to success is not failure but mediocrity

The route to mediocrity

The route to mediocrity is through diffuse strategies, no clear strategic commitment, tinkering with the value chain.

Is your business changing as quick as the environment you operate in? Traditional responses focus on adaptation and prediction; the environment changes quicker than the company makes that an unsustainable approach. Read Black Swan by Taleb. Strategic options vs growth options.

Invest in experiments.

Create options on synergies.

Successful companies are led by visionary leaders with a deep appreciation of the dynamics of their industry and personal control over strategic investments

  • Anticipate; build scenarios of the future
  • Formulate; create strategies for those alternative futures and determine what is core to the business and what needs to be acquired
  • Accumulate; acquire the ability to respond to the options
  • Operate; manage the portfolio of options (decide to sell, stop, continue with the options)

Business model innovation

Movement from closed innovation to open innovation

  • Is IP part of your business model?
  • Is innovation a recognised business function in your business?
  • Is your business model part of an innovation ecosystem?
  • Is innovation part of every business unit in your company?

1. Shock to the system 2. Process of experimentation in search of new revenue sources 3. Identify contours of new business model 4. Scaling the new model Do not benchmark you against your competitors and try to beat them. What you are doing is playing the same game. You need to develop a new game, with new rules.

What is your DNA? What are you really good at?

  • From a process perspective
  • From a client perspective
  • From a capability perspective

Examine the current industry rules:

  • What are the most important industry factors?
  • Which of these factors take the industry take for granted should be eliminated (where are the legacy systems that no longer add value?)
  • What factors should be reduced below the industry standard (where are you over servicing your clients)
  • What factors should be raised above the standards (deliver value without compromise)
  • What factors have never been delivered by the industry (what are the new sources of value and create new demand)
  • Look at alternative industries
  • Redefine your buyers
  • Focus on the value rather than the (existing) customer
  • Look for complementary products and services
  • Shape trends (instead of responding to trends)

Fair process means engagement, explanation and expectation clarity:

3 distinctive business types:

  • Infrastructure management
  • Innovation
  • Commercialisation and customer relationship

Managers must experience the business as customers. There's a growing disconnect between company view of value and customer view of value.

Experience networks (competence) and experience environments (innovation)

The right 10 clients will give you 80% of the feedback you need.

10 key questions for your business strategy

  1. How do we beat our most powerful competitor?
  2. Which products should we develop?
  3. Which customers give us the most valuable foundation to build a business?
  4. What activities should we do internally and which one do we outsource?
  5. How will we know when commoditisation will occur?
  6. What can we do to keep earning acceptable returns?
  7. What is the best organisation structure for disruptive innovation?
  8. How do we get the strategy right?
  9. What sources of money will help most at the different stages of development?
  10. When should CEO keep hands of new ventures and when should they become involved?

 Finally, make your strategy about moving

  • From not-good-enough to more-than-good-enough
  • From one-time disruptors to ongoing-sustainers
  • From emergent to deliberate
  • From patient-for-growth, impatient-for-profit to impatient-for-growth
  • From developing an efficient and disruptive business model to deliberate scaling
  • To become serial disruptors

Over to you now. Was this strategic framework and 10 key questions useful? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. 


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