Today we answered your question:
A business usually has more than one strategy but for the purposes of this article the focus is on a strategic (business future) perspective.
Regardless of whether your goal is to grow your business into something or is simply a means to earn a monthly income for yourself, without knowing which you are aiming to achieve getting there will be a hit and miss affair, decision-making weak and difficult, resources may not be available when you need them, and it could take longer than necessary to get there with a trial and error approach rather than strategic. The trial and error approach historically provide other businesses with the opportunity to get to your customers before you do.
I will use the popular analogy of going on a journey to explain further.
Let’s say you decide to go on a journey. Would you immediately jump into a car and start driving? Or would you first decide on where you were going, the best route to take, the type of transport required to get there, how long it will take, do you need overnight stays, rest stops, will fuel be needed along the way? And so on.
Most of us would do the latter, that is, before setting off, decide on a destination (the goal/purpose/problem to solve), determine our preferences such travelling at low congestion times to reduce carbon emissions (guiding principles). We would precisely plan the roads to take, the required rest and fuel stops, book hotels to stay at along the way, all from the start of the journey to the destination and back (actions).
Of course, there are many analogies like the journey analogy. For example, I could have used another well-known analogy of a general planning and managing an army to win a war without fighting as compiled in “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu.
Whichever analogy is used any good strategy has these 3 key elements: a clearly identified goal/purpose/problem to solve or ,destination, guiding principles, and precise planned actions required to produce the desired ‘destination’. These three elements transformation the current situation to where it should be, what inputs are required, when, to obtain desired outputs.
But why is it so important in business? Here are five simple reasons.
Clients with established, successful businesses always ask me whether I am reading anything current and of value to their business.
Fortunately, a key aspect of my business day is to do the things business owners, entrepreneurs, managers and leaders do not have the time to do themselves. One of those activities is reading on behalf of clients because they want to know what has been done successfully already rather than waste time, sometimes years, figuring it out themselves. My clients also want to know how stay ahead of the competition rather than follow or trail behind.
I usually read peer reviewed research journal papers, books, and articles relevant to their business, business management, technology and innovation. Afterwards a summary of the key take-aways is provided together with the methods applied, new models and how it can be applied effectively and without disruption to my clients’ business if relevant.
So, here is my current reading list for the next few weeks in no specific order:
Research & Journal Papers
The role of innovation in building competitive advantages: An empirical investigation.
P. Chatzoglou, D. Chatzoudes, 2018.
Business model innovation mapping: A structured approach to a new business model.
A. Schaller, R. Vatananan-Thesenvitz, 2018.
Modelling value propositions in E-business.
A. Osterwalder, Y. Pigneur, 2003.
Sustainable competitive advantage or temporary competitive advantage: Improving understanding of an important strategy construct.
T. O’Shannassy, 2006.
Books - Leadership, strategy, personal development
The monk who sold his Ferrari.
R. Sharma, 2015.
Business is personal
P. Power OBE, 2019.
Good strategy Bad strategy: the difference and why it matters.
R. Rumelt, 2017.
(Reading for the second time)
H. Mintzberg, B. Ashlstrand, J. Lampel, 1998.
(Reading for the second time)
Wherever you turn today business owners, leaders, social media channels, books, blogs, and entrepreneurs talk about business models. It is a trendy term thrown around by so many and to such an extent that the power of a business model seems forgotten.
As a reminder, we ask and answer, four questions here. What is a business model? What does a business model look like? Why are business models so popular today? Why every business, regardless of type, size, age, wealth, or industry, needs at least one.