It is a given that business strategies are crucial for business success, however there are times when despite careful planning even the best strategies fail miserably.
While execution may be an answer to ensure that strategies are implemented successfully, there are numerous ifs and buts involved in the process. The basic ones include –
- How to know whether the strategy planned is a good one or a bad one?
- How to ensure that strategies are implemented successfully?
- Last but definitely not the least what is the role of a business strategy professional in all this?
Starting from the basics…
What is strategy and how to identify a good strategy from a bad one?
Strategy is defined as a general direction set for the company and its various components to achieve a desired state in the future. Strategy is a result of a detailed strategic planning process.
Now that there is a clear definition of what is strategy, let’s understand what is a good strategy and what is a bad one.
Features of a good strategy
Here are some important features of a good strategy. Whenever devising a strategy ensure to go through this check list to know whether your strategy is a good one or a bad.
- A good strategy is a result of some innovative and creative thinking.
- It should have some confidential element to it that is known only to the top management so as to ensure a successful implementation
- A good strategy is designed in a smart and clever way aligned with SMART goal principles inferring that your goals are –
- One of the most important feature of an effective business strategy is that it is cost effective. In simple words the strategy implemented should be able to break even and recover the cost incurred while implementing the strategy.
But what are the traits of a bad strategy?
Here’s how you can recognize bad strategies from a distance and raise a red flag. Bad strategies are characterized by the following four features.
- Fluff – is when gibberish is concealed as a strategic concepts or opinions. Most common reason is when leaders instead of using simple and actionable words use over-rated and obscure words trying to appear knowledgeable.
- Fail to recognize/define challenge: A bad strategy fails to either recognize or even define a challenge. Thus making it difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of a strategy. Easily recognizable trait of a bad strategy.
- Confusing goals with strategy: Oftentimes, it is noted that regular performance goals are confused as strategy. In reality these goals have nothing to do with business strategy and hence the strategies fail.
- Unrealistic strategic objectives: Strategic objectives when fail to address critical issues or when they are unrealistic. There are two types of bad strategic objectives – the dog’s dinner and blue-sky objectives – which the organizations need to address to avoid the pitfall of a bad strategy.
So now there is a clear understanding between a good and bad strategy. It’s time to understand the role of a business strategist to ensure how to recognize and avoid bad strategy; how to strongly execute good strategies for a business to succeed.
Business Strategist – Roles and Responsibilities
In all these good and bad strategies formulation and execution, the role of a business strategy professional or a business strategist is crucial. Here’s how –
- She is responsible for formulating an effective strategy that is aligned with business goals. While doing so she keeps in mind all the traits and features of a good strategy
- Next she ensures she has everyone in the organization is on the loop while formulating the strategy that will yield results
- Apart from formulating, she is also responsible that the formulated strategy is executed successfully
- Another important responsibility that she has as a business strategy professional includes ensuring right employees are deployed in formulating and executing the strategy.
This apart, a business strategist is also involved in ensuring that the business strategies formulated have clearly identified challenges and solutions to overcome these challenges. She is also responsible to cut the fluff from the goals and stick to what is important to formulate and execute the strategy.
Guest post courtesy of Michael Lyam, The Strategy Institute