"Strategic planning results in plans, not strategies" (Michael Hammer)
Some successful companies seem to stumble on their strategies, while others invest significant effort into strategy develop-ment and implementation - only to see their competitors outperform them. Why?
Most companies mistake goals ("We will be the #1 or #2 competitor in every segment we serve") or action ("We will develop a best-in-class manufacturing capability") for a strategy. Neither is.
A strategy is a system that combines a company's relationships and interactions/transactions with its suppliers, customers, employees and partners in a way that yields better economic results than that of its competitors. Strategy development is system design, and strategy implementation is system implementation.
Strategy development requires a detailed understanding of the inter-dependencies of all of its system components. That is where most strategy efforts fail. Strategies cannot be developed by strategy departments (they can facilitate their development). They require the active collaboration of operational leaders that understand how the suppliers, customers, employees and partners they manage interact with everything else and that have the acumen to conceive of changes to the system that leads to better results.
We facilitate the strategy development and implementation efforts of our clients by asking the right questions, knowing that we don't have the right answers.