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The Importance Of Strategy Essay

948 words - 4 pages

The Importance of Strategy
Most corporations would purport to have a well defined strategy which they have developed to take their business forward. Often however strategy is confused with operational planning, planning focused on delivering a more effective outcome for the business as it exists and not about positioning the company for the future. So widgets are made with ever increasing efficiency until the time comes when no one wants widgets like the company makes them any longer and a once proud company is consumed by its wily competitor or ceases to exist. Strategy is about planning to reach a vision which differentiates a company from its competitors in a positive way. It encompasses ...view middle of the document...

Typically, as well, competitors rapidly follow suit, thus the gains in terms of profitability are short lived and the relative “status quo” of the industry remains little changed. Indeed, the major benefactors of all these improvements are not the companies implementing the improvements but the customers who get better products at lower prices and to a lesser extent the suppliers involved in supporting the company to make the improvements by way of supplying services or new equipment. A prime case of this can be seen in the computer hardware industry where companies are more efficient than ever but making for less money than ever before. The one exception is perhaps Dell which adopted a different strategy than its rivals and as a result has gained considerable market share while others have had to merge to survive. Developing a corporate strategy, like most “simple” things, is deceptively hard. Even the best thinkers tend to confuse the need for detailed operational planning with their view of the strategy the company needs to follow. For some reason, a “strategic thought” tends to soak up operational plans like a sponge does water until waterlogged it is of use no more. For this reason then it is important to define the area to which the strategy should relate and then limit the strategy to that area alone and drive the company along that strategy without deviation. Thus, if the corporate strategy is based on customer needs, determine the customer base you wish to serve, its needs, and then only meet the needs of those customers, foregoing all others. Operational plans, the detail of making the strategy happen, must complement the strategy and be subordinate to meeting the strategy and not become an end in themselves. Likewise, if the strategy is based on customer accessibility or product variety or...

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