Strategy is more of an art than a science.
What companies need is a way to structure thinking and analysis, come to a decision on what to do, and then communicate the strategy in order to mobilize the organization to execute it.
We wrote a mini eBook outlining the s2m Strategic Framework™ This framework provides the structure for analysis and takes the confusion and complexity out of strategy development. Download here.
What we find is the determination of “what to do” is not well-defined for most companies, especially when developing new products. This leads to confusion and conflicting paths resulting in paralysis or poor decisions that seem very obvious in retrospect.
First of all, most companies can’t even agree on what the word “strategy” means.
Mintzberg observed people refer to strategy in 5 different ways:
- Strategy as a plan – an intended direction, or course of action
- Strategy as a ploy – a maneuver intended to outwit a competitor
- Strategy as a pattern – a consistent pattern of past behavior that is realized over time (or the current buzzword “emergent”) rather than what was intended
- Strategy as a position – how customers think of your brands, products, or companies in relation to competitors. In some ways this is strategy as determined by your competition.
- Strategy as perspective – meaning strategy as determined by a master strategist
This is a good way to get a strategy discussion going in your organization. How does your organization refer to strategy? Our firm refers to it as an intended direction or course of action.
You may ask, why is strategy important for product development? 3 major reasons include:
- Speed to market… ability to make decisions quickly since everyone is aligned and on the same page
- Less politicking and gut decision-making
- Better resource allocation, since you’re working on the right projects