Leadership Series: Strategy

Posted on Oct 27, 2016 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Leadership Series: Strategy

Leadership Series: Strategy

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Today we’re going to discuss a leadership topic of great importance—strategy. We’ll talk about the “What” and“Why”  of strategy and how to apply it to your life and business. But first, a quote from legendary Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi:

“Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.”


What is strategy?

Michael D. Watkins, Chairman of Genesis Advisers, in his HBR article, Demystifying Strategy: The What, Who, How, and Why, defines the subject perfectly:

“Strategy is…about how people throughout the organization should make decisions and allocate resources in order accomplish key objectives. A good strategy provides a clear roadmap, consisting of a set of guiding principles or rules, that defines the actions people in the business should take (and not take) and the things they should prioritize (and not prioritize) to achieve desired goals” (emphasis added).

More than just a mere plan, a company’s strategy arms it’s people with the ability to make guided decisions on the most important priorities of the organization when and even before, situations occur.

So, how does a strategy differ from a company’s mission, vision, or value network? Watkins continues:

“In a nutshell…mission is about what will be achieved; the value network is about with whom value will be created and captured; strategy is about how resources should be allocated to accomplish the mission in the context of the value network; and vision and incentives is about why people in the organization should feel motivated to perform at a high level.”


Why is it important?

So, with a better understanding of what strategy is and what it’s not, why is it so vitally important? The answer is short. Without a strategy, an organization becomes like one serving of butter spread over an entire loaf of bread. The limited resources and the endless possibilities leave an organization dry, bland and undesirable to consumers.

Now, we encourage you to think, “What is my company’s strategy? What principles, rules and guidelines should we establish to help us know where should we prioritize our resources, what actions we should take and what decisions we should make?”

If you feel overwhelmed, take courage from the words of Roger Martin, professor at and former dean of the Rotman School of Management:

“In strategy there is no single right answer to find. Strategy requires making choices about an uncertain future…The best strategists aren’t intimidated or paralyzed by uncertainty and ambiguity; they are creative enough to imagine possibilities that may or may not actually exist and are willing to try a course of action knowing full well that it will have to be tweaked or even overhauled entirely as events unfold. The essential qualities for this type of person are flexibility, imagination, and resilience.”

Be flexible. Be imaginative. Be resilient.

We look forward to hearing about your success!

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