Once More From the Top - Creating Strategy


If you are a CEO, you make a big bet each time you move to,
or found, a new company. You invest your experience and reputation into an enterprise
and expect that the opportunity cost of doing something else isn't greater than
the reward you'll derive from the position you've just taken or created. Of
course, these aren't just monetary rewards we're speaking of, but the whole
complicated bundle of motivations and aspirations that serve as rewards for
doing a very difficult job.


The biggest decisions will need to be made by you as the
CEO, and as such, you also fulfill the role of Chief Strategy Officer. And so,
when you take the reins, you'll need to review or define the mission, vision
and values of the enterprise, and undertake a reasonable amount of strategic
analysis along with your Executive Team (if you have one), or even your Board.


You'll potentially use Porter's five forces framework and do
a PESTEL (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal)
macroeconomic analysis, but you'll almost certainly undertake on a SWOT
analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) before you take on
the task of actually formulating any strategy.


Then you'll need to decide what strategy framework you'll
use to express what the strategy is, and how the company intends to deliver on
it. Depending on your preference, you'll select a framework from one of the
current schools of thought including Competitive, Resource-based, Blue Ocean,
Disruptive, or Emergent Strategy; or, you may decide to employ a hybrid version
of a couple of these.


When you and your team sequester yourselves at an off-site
location, the strategy formulation often emerges after lengthy discussion,
debate, analysis, fact-checking, bad food and the requisite gnashing of teeth.
So far, so good.


Then you'll devise the major strategic objectives, measures,
and targets and create supporting strategic initiatives that will surely deliver
the results within the selected timeframe you desire.


Let's pause here; because this is where things usually go

It isn't the creation of the strategy that is the problem. Most
companies are quite adept at creating strategy. And they also seem to be quite
happy with the current tools
used in creating strategy. It's
the translation of that strategy into effective action by your entire
enterprise. This is where the Strategy-to-Performance Gap occurs.

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