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Friday, May 29, 2009

Defining Your Strategic Position - Video

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:

  1. 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".
  2. 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.
  3. Remind yourself and your organization that investing in activities outside the strategic position makes it easier for competitors to catch up.
  4. Understand that operational efficiency is about improving the processes and activities you have that support this strategic position.
  5. 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

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