By Pearl Strategy & Innovation Design Inc.
Whether you are a small emerging company or a large organization with legacy brands, building a strategy is imperative to keep your business moving forward. A great way to start is by following a strategic framework (pictured below) which defines strategy as a blend of choices, capabilities and creativity.
At the heart of strategic planning lies the ability to surface issues and opportunities and to make good strategic choices for your organization. At the beginning of the process you will identify many issues and opportunities, yet focus is required to make an impact. Strategic choices should be consumer centric, align with your company’s overall strategy and lead to future growth. To accomplish this, we prioritize strategic options through the external lens of Business Opportunity and Right to Win.
Business Opportunity: Assess the scale and growth potential of each strategic choice. Is this is big opportunity area? Is the opportunity on trend? Does the ROI warrant the time, effort and resources required?
Right to Win: Asses the level of competitive advantage for each strategic choice. What is your relevant point of difference versus the competition? Are there any barriers to competitive entry?
After running the strategic options through the Opportunity Matrix, you will make priority choices on the highest potential strategic options.
With the priority strategic choices in hand, you will then run these choices through the internal lens of organizational capabilities. These are the assets, activities and expertise that enable the organization to execute the strategy. It is what your organization is really great at doing. Here are some ways to think about capabilities. What assets does the organization have? What skills do people have? What processes does the organization have? What technology does the organization have? Therefore, assessment of capabilities should include both what the organization can offer today and potentially how they might build or buy capabilities in the future.
Note: we assess the criteria with stop lights – green is high potential, yellow is medium potential, and red is low potential. The opportunities or platforms that get more green stop lights get higher ranking.
Now that you’ve aligned on your priority strategic choices, it is time to bring some creativity to the table. Think of different ways for your organization to execute against the priority strategic options. You can use a workshop format or even collaboration tools through shared company platforms like HipChat or Zoho Cliq. You can boost your level of creativity with a diverse team of participants. The most important factor is that participants should think about the opportunity from the lens of the consumer. The most creative and original ideas often require risk taking. So if your objective is to find disruptive ideas, then the team must be encouraged to take risks.
The creativity stage is really all about exploring and imagining new possibilities.
Anyone can learn to be strategic. By viewing the process with the framework of Choices + Capabilities + Creativity you’ll build your strategic capabilities in no time.