“One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” Milton Friedman
“A good working definition of fanaticism is that you are so convinced of your views and policies that you are sure that anyone who opposed them must be either stupid and decieved or have some ulterior motive. We are today a nation where almost everyone in the public eye displays fanaticism with every utterance.” Orson Scott Card, Empire
This is now where you put actions into place to achieve your vision, working within the organization’s values. This is far more descriptive and measurable than perhaps the mission and vision are. Also, strategies can be short, mid or long term. However, they should be aligned with the vision, getting the organization to where it wants to be. Collis and Rukstad in “Can you say what your strategy is?” identified 3 areas of strategy.
· Advantage – value proposition
To provide a strategy you have to have an objective to work towards, therefore a strategy should have a measurable outcome, within a timescale. These can act like milestones on the way to achieving the vision.
The scope will allow employees and managers to identify where they are operating and who their customers are, and conversely where not to operate. This allows for decisions to be made that keep the organization focused on its objective.
The advantage is identifying the value proposition you are offering. Are you going for quality or value? Can you provide something that your competitors do not? How do you plan to maximize this to your advantage?
Often when writing a strategy there has to be some trade-off, if you are concentrating on growth, you may have to sacrifice profit. If you want to shift high volumes, then you may require larger premises to store products, which may increase your bottom line.
An organization needs to have a reason for being, and a target to aim for. Importantly this needs to be identified and communicated to the employees at all levels within an organization. Employees gain a sense of worth can use this to make decisions, as they know what they are aiming towards. A strategy needs to be in place to make the steps towards to target. It seems to be easy to get these confused, however, working through the process top down seems to make business sense. I agree with the Collis and Rusktard description of the hierarchy of Company Statements;
· Mission – Why we exist
· Values – What we believe in and how we behave
· Vision – What we want to be
· Strategy – What our competitive game plan will be
· Balanced Scorecard – How we will monitor and implement the plan.
“as you work your way down the hierarchy, the statements become more concrete, practical and ultimately unique”
(Collis and Ruskstad – 2008)