A winning strategy

A winning strategy

Every leader should ensure that he draws up a strategy that moves the organisation from the doldrums to success. You need a strategy that is aligned to the organisation’s mission.

A strategy that is not aligned to the organisation’s goals and mission is just as good as having no strategy at all because it will not help in achieving the organisation’s purpose.

If an organisation has to succeed, that is meet its mission, and outperform its competition it needs to spend time crafting a winning strategy.

We live in a world that is dynamic, unstable and complex with limited resources but a myriad of problems to solve. These problems provide business opportunities that we should exploit.
However to be successful, business leaders need to focus on what exactly they intend doing and hence they need strategies to move ahead.

In any market that you chose to operate, if you have to be ahead of the competition you should draw up and implement a resilient strategy that is responsive to the environment by taking advantage of the opportunities and neutralising threats.

A strategy can be defined as a way of describing how you are going to get things done. It tries to broadly answer the question, “How do we get there from here?” It looks at how you intend to achieve your future aspirations.
Having a winning strategy is a result of a thorough strategic planning process. An organisation should first establish its current status so that it will identify those strengths it should exploit in taking advantage of opportunities or fighting threats or the weaknesses that it needs to deal with.

With this analysis, an organisation should then come up with a strategy that has a strategic fit with its strengths and opportunities. The strategy should take into account any existing barriers and resources especially people, money, capabilities and competencies that the organisation currently has and needs.

A strategy should maintain internal consistency with all the policies a company has established and also the goals it is pursuing.

A family-owned business cannot pursue rapid expansion and at the same time hope to retain exclusive family control of the organisation if it has to raise additional financing from other investors to fund the expansion. It has to relinquish some control.

It’s therefore very important that an organisation has to reconcile the two conflicting strategies. A strategy that is inconsistent with company policies will affect future decision making.

A company operates in an environment in which it interacts with suppliers, investors, customers, the government and society. A test of whether its strategy is good is whether the chosen policies of the organisation are consistent with the environment.

Do the policies that have been adopted in implementing the strategy really make sense with respect to what is going on outside.

How are the policies relevant to the current environment and how are they relevant with respect to the changing environment. This external consistency with the environment will ensure the future survival of the business.
The other test for a good strategy is whether the proposed strategy is appropriate for the available resources.

Resources in this case mean those things that a company has and that help it to achieve its corporate objectives.
Resources like money, brand, competence, capabilities and facilities. With its resources, a company is able to respond to any impending threats in the environment or it can exploit available opportunities.

In other words, resources help the company seize opportunities or counter threats. Resources are critical for strategic purposes because they can be factors that might limit the achievement of corporate goals or they could actually be exploited in achieving the vision of the organisation.

For instance, if you have cash you could use it in acquiring other businesses but lack of it can limit your acquisition drive.

Money is a very critical resource because it provides flexibility in responding to events as they arise. Competence is also very important in organisations because organisations survive or do better than the competition because they are good at doing those things which are necessary to keep them ahead of the pack. It is therefore very important for an organisation to align its strategy to its competences.

Adopting a certain strategy involves taking risks. The risk will be that you might not have adequate resources.
It’s important that your organisation should not run out of one of the resources before achieving its goal. So each company must decide how much risk it wants to live with.

One needs to evaluate the degree of risk inherent in a strategy by looking at the probability of getting certain returns after implementing certain strategies.

In assessing the risk emanating from a strategy you need to look at the amount of resources committed to the strategy, the length of the time to which resources are committed and the proportion of resources committed to a single venture or strategy.

If the amount of resources committed are a lot, and the time is long and the proportion of resources committed to one strategy are high, then the degree of risk involved is very high. Such a strategy is not likely to succeed. It’s very risky.

Strategies should have an appropriate time horizon in which they should be implemented. A viable strategy should therefore reveal what goals are to be accomplished and when they are to be achieved. Strategies and goals are time-based.

A launch of a new product is of significant strategic importance only if it’s going to be accomplished within a certain time period because a delay may deprive an organisation the success it’s was hoping to achieve.
It’s therefore very critical that a strategy has internal and environmental consistency if it is to be successful.
A good strategy should result in a company developing a competitive advantage. Renowned business consultant Kenichi Ohmae said, “What business strategy is all about – what distinguishes it from all other kinds of business planning – is, in a word, competitive advantage.

Without competitors there would be no need for strategy, for the sole purpose of strategic planning is to enable the company to gain, as efficiently as possible, a sustainable edge over its competitors.”

l Stewart Jakarasi is a business and financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy, advanced performance management and entrepreneurship.

He is the Managing Consultant of Shekina Consulting (Pty) Ltd and provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, corporate governance, preparation of business plans, tender documents and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations.

For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts: sjakarasi@gmail.com, call on +266 58881062 or WhatsApp +266 62110062 .

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