Watch CEO and best-selling author Gary Harpst as he walks you through Discipline I -Decide What's Important - Step I-C, Renew Strategic Position (from Six Disciplines for Excellence.)
Hints and tips for creating your organization's strategic position:
- Keep the description of the strategic position simple. When you grasp it, it’s usually straightforward to express: Dell’s “computers direct”; Southwest Airlines’ “short flights”; Krispy Kreme’s “freshest doughnuts”; and Federal Express’s “overnight delivery".
- Although a strategic position is not forever, it should last 10 years or more. It provides a consistency to the annual planning and keeps the organization out of a constant reaction mode to competitors who have a different strategic position.
- Remind yourself and your organization that investing in activities outside the strategic position makes it easier for competitors to catch up.
- Understand that operational efficiency is about improving the processes and activities you have that support this strategic position.
- As Michael Porter says, operational efficiency involves “constant change, flexibility and best practices,” but strategy, on the other hand, “demands discipline, continuity; its enemies are distraction and compromise.”
BOTTOMLINE: The strategic position should fit on one page and contain the following elements:
- A short phrase that embodies the two main ideas: (what business you're in, and what differentiates your approach (e.g., "computers direct")
- A paragraph that explains what the short phrase means
- A bullet-pointed characteristics list of the target customer (geographics, age, income, occupation, industry, etc.—whatever it takes to clarify who’s being targeted)
- 5-7 strategic themes that identify the broad focus/investment areas required to support the strategic position