Company Strategy

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Company Strategy

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Company Strategy Video

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You could launch an entire business strategy aimed at increasing the sustainability of your business. For example, the objective could be to reduce energy costs or decrease the company's footprint by implementing a recycling program.

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Upload your resume. Sign in. Career Development. Create your resume. Why is a business strategy important? Planning: A business strategy helps you identify the key steps you will take to reach your business goals Strengths and weaknesses: The process of creating a business strategy allows you to identify and evaluate your company's strengths and weaknesses, creating a strategy that will capitalize on your strengths and overcome or eliminate your weaknesses Efficiency: A business strategy allows you to effectively allocate resources for your business activities, which automatically makes you more efficient Control: It gives you more control over the activities you're performing to reach your organizational goals, as you understand the path you're taking and can easily assess whether your activities are getting you close to your goals Competitive advantage: By identifying a clear plan for how you will reach your goals, you can focus on capitalizing on your strengths, using them as a competitive advantage that makes your company unique.

Components of a business strategy. Vision and business objectives. Core values. SWOT analysis. Resource allocation plan. Cross-sell more products Most innovative product or service Grow sales from new products Improve customer service Cornering a young market Product differentiation Pricing strategies Technological advantage Improve customer retention Sustainability.

Cross-sell more products. Most innovative product or service. Grow sales from new products. Improve customer service. Prior to , the term "strategy" was primarily used regarding war and politics, not business.

Peter Drucker was a prolific management theorist and author of dozens of management books, with a career spanning five decades.

He addressed fundamental strategic questions in a book The Practice of Management writing: " He recommended eight areas where objectives should be set, such as market standing, innovation, productivity, physical and financial resources, worker performance and attitude, profitability, manager performance and development, and public responsibility.

In , Philip Selznick initially used the term "distinctive competence" in referring to how the Navy was attempting to differentiate itself from the other services.

Andrews in into what we now call SWOT analysis , in which the strengths and weaknesses of the firm are assessed in light of the opportunities and threats in the business environment.

Alfred Chandler recognized the importance of coordinating management activity under an all-encompassing strategy. Interactions between functions were typically handled by managers who relayed information back and forth between departments.

Chandler stressed the importance of taking a long-term perspective when looking to the future. In his ground breaking work Strategy and Structure , Chandler showed that a long-term coordinated strategy was necessary to give a company structure, direction and focus.

He says it concisely, " structure follows strategy. Igor Ansoff built on Chandler's work by adding concepts and inventing a vocabulary.

He developed a grid that compared strategies for market penetration, product development, market development and horizontal and vertical integration and diversification.

He felt that management could use the grid to systematically prepare for the future. In his classic Corporate Strategy , he developed gap analysis to clarify the gap between the current reality and the goals and to develop what he called "gap reducing actions".

Bruce Henderson , founder of the Boston Consulting Group , wrote about the concept of the experience curve in , following initial work begun in This supported the argument for achieving higher market share and economies of scale.

Porter wrote in that companies have to make choices about their scope and the type of competitive advantage they seek to achieve, whether lower cost or differentiation.

The idea of strategy targeting particular industries and customers i. The direction of strategic research also paralleled a major paradigm shift in how companies competed, specifically a shift from the production focus to market focus.

The prevailing concept in strategy up to the s was to create a product of high technical quality. If you created a product that worked well and was durable, it was assumed you would have no difficulty profiting.

This was called the production orientation. Henry Ford famously said of the Model T car: "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black.

Management theorist Peter F Drucker wrote in that it was the customer who defined what business the organization was in. The fallacy of the production orientation was also referred to as marketing myopia in an article of the same name by Levitt.

Over time, the customer became the driving force behind all strategic business decisions. This marketing concept, in the decades since its introduction, has been reformulated and repackaged under names including market orientation, customer orientation, customer intimacy, customer focus, customer-driven and market focus.

Jim Collins [36]. Jim Collins wrote in that the strategic frame of reference is expanded by focusing on why a company exists rather than what it makes.

In , Professor Ellen Earle-Chaffee summarized what she thought were the main elements of strategic management theory where consensus generally existed as of the s, writing that strategic management: [11].

Chaffee further wrote that research up to that point covered three models of strategy, which were not mutually exclusive:.

The progress of strategy since can be charted by a variety of frameworks and concepts introduced by management consultants and academics.

These reflect an increased focus on cost, competition and customers. These "3 Cs" were illuminated by much more robust empirical analysis at ever-more granular levels of detail, as industries and organizations were disaggregated into business units, activities, processes, and individuals in a search for sources of competitive advantage.

By the s, the capstone business policy course at the Harvard Business School included the concept of matching the distinctive competence of a company its internal strengths and weaknesses with its environment external opportunities and threats in the context of its objectives.

This framework came to be known by the acronym SWOT and was "a major step forward in bringing explicitly competitive thinking to bear on questions of strategy".

Kenneth R. Andrews helped popularize the framework via a conference and it remains commonly used in practice. The experience curve was developed by the Boston Consulting Group in It has been empirically confirmed by some firms at various points in their history.

Author Walter Kiechel wrote that it reflected several insights, including:. Kiechel wrote in "The experience curve was, simply, the most important concept in launching the strategy revolution Further, the experience curve provided a basis for the retail sale of business ideas, helping drive the management consulting industry.

The concept of the corporation as a portfolio of business units, with each plotted graphically based on its market share a measure of its competitive position relative to its peers and industry growth rate a measure of industry attractiveness , was summarized in the growth—share matrix developed by the Boston Consulting Group around This framework helped companies decide where to invest their resources i.

Prahalad and Gary Hamel suggested that companies should build portfolios of businesses around shared technical or operating competencies, and should develop structures and processes to enhance their core competencies.

Porter wrote in that corporate strategy involves two questions: 1 What business should the corporation be in? He mentioned four concepts of corporate strategy; the latter three can be used together: [40].

Other techniques were developed to analyze the relationships between elements in a portfolio. The growth-share matrix, a part of B.

Analysis , was followed by G. Companies continued to diversify as conglomerates until the s, when deregulation and a less restrictive antitrust environment led to the view that a portfolio of operating divisions in different industries was worth more as many independent companies, leading to the breakup of many conglomerates.

In , Porter defined the two types of competitive advantage an organization can achieve relative to its rivals: lower cost or differentiation.

This advantage derives from attribute s that allow an organization to outperform its competition, such as superior market position, skills, or resources.

In Porter's view, strategic management should be concerned with building and sustaining competitive advantage.

Porter developed a framework for analyzing the profitability of industries and how those profits are divided among the participants in In five forces analysis he identified the forces that shape the industry structure or environment.

The framework involves the bargaining power of buyers and suppliers, the threat of new entrants, the availability of substitute products, and the competitive rivalry of firms in the industry.

These forces affect the organization's ability to raise its prices as well as the costs of inputs such as raw materials for its processes.

The five forces framework helps describe how a firm can use these forces to obtain a sustainable competitive advantage , either lower cost or differentiation.

Companies can maximize their profitability by competing in industries with favorable structure. Competitors can take steps to grow the overall profitability of the industry, or to take profit away from other parts of the industry structure.

Porter modified Chandler's dictum about structure following strategy by introducing a second level of structure: while organizational structure follows strategy, it in turn follows industry structure.

Porter wrote in that strategy target either cost leadership , differentiation , or focus. Porter claimed that a company must only choose one of the three or risk that the business would waste precious resources.

Porter's generic strategies detail the interaction between cost minimization strategies, product differentiation strategies, and market focus strategies.

Porter described an industry as having multiple segments that can be targeted by a firm. The breadth of its targeting refers to the competitive scope of the business.

Porter defined two types of competitive advantage : lower cost or differentiation relative to its rivals. Achieving competitive advantage results from a firm's ability to cope with the five forces better than its rivals.

Porter wrote: "[A]chieving competitive advantage requires a firm to make a choice The focus strategy has two variants, cost focus and differentiation focus.

The concept of choice was a different perspective on strategy, as the s paradigm was the pursuit of market share size and scale influenced by the experience curve.

Companies that pursued the highest market share position to achieve cost advantages fit under Porter's cost leadership generic strategy, but the concept of choice regarding differentiation and focus represented a new perspective.

Porter's description of the value chain refers to the chain of activities processes or collections of processes that an organization performs in order to deliver a valuable product or service for the market.

These include functions such as inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing and sales, and service, supported by systems and technology infrastructure.

By aligning the various activities in its value chain with the organization's strategy in a coherent way, a firm can achieve a competitive advantage.

Porter also wrote that strategy is an internally consistent configuration of activities that differentiates a firm from its rivals.

A robust competitive position cumulates from many activities which should fit coherently together. Porter wrote in "Competitive advantage cannot be understood by looking at a firm as a whole.

It stems from the many discrete activities a firm performs in designing, producing, marketing, delivering and supporting its product.

Each of these activities can contribute to a firm's relative cost position and create a basis for differentiation Interorganizational relationships allow independent organizations to get access to resources or to enter new markets.

Interorganizational relationships represent a critical lever of competitive advantage. On the one hand, scholars drawing on organizational economics e.

On the other hand, scholars drawing on organizational theory e. A key component to the strategic management of inter-organizational relationships relates to the choice of governance mechanisms.

While early research focused on the choice between equity and non equity forms, [44] recent scholarship studies the nature of the contractual and relational arrangements between organizations.

However, researchers have also noted the dark side of interorganizational relationships, such as conflict, disputes, opportunism and unethical behaviors.

Gary Hamel and C. Prahalad described the idea of core competency in , the idea that each organization has some capability in which it excels and that the business should focus on opportunities in that area, letting others go or outsourcing them.

Further, core competency is difficult to duplicate, as it involves the skills and coordination of people across a variety of functional areas or processes used to deliver value to customers.

By outsourcing, companies expanded the concept of the value chain, with some elements within the entity and others without. Peter Drucker wrote in about the "Theory of the Business," which represents the key assumptions underlying a firm's strategy.

These assumptions are in three categories: a the external environment, including society, market, customer, and technology; b the mission of the organization; and c the core competencies needed to accomplish the mission.

He continued that a valid theory of the business has four specifications: 1 assumptions about the environment, mission, and core competencies must fit reality; 2 the assumptions in all three areas have to fit one another; 3 the theory of the business must be known and understood throughout the organization; and 4 the theory of the business has to be tested constantly.

He wrote that organizations get into trouble when the assumptions representing the theory of the business no longer fit reality.

He used an example of retail department stores, where their theory of the business assumed that people who could afford to shop in department stores would do so.

However, many shoppers abandoned department stores in favor of specialty retailers often located outside of malls when time became the primary factor in the shopping destination rather than income.

Drucker described the theory of the business as a "hypothesis" and a "discipline. Strategic thinking involves the generation and application of unique business insights to opportunities intended to create competitive advantage for a firm or organization.

It involves challenging the assumptions underlying the organization's strategy and value proposition. Mintzberg wrote in that it is more about synthesis i.

It is about "capturing what the manager learns from all sources both the soft insights from his or her personal experiences and the experiences of others throughout the organization and the hard data from market research and the like and then synthesizing that learning into a vision of the direction that the business should pursue.

General Andre Beaufre wrote in that strategic thinking "is a mental process, at once abstract and rational, which must be capable of synthesizing both psychological and material data.

The strategist must have a great capacity for both analysis and synthesis; analysis is necessary to assemble the data on which he makes his diagnosis, synthesis in order to produce from these data the diagnosis itself--and the diagnosis in fact amounts to a choice between alternative courses of action.

Will Mulcaster [51] argued that while much research and creative thought has been devoted to generating alternative strategies, too little work has been done on what influences the quality of strategic decision making and the effectiveness with which strategies are implemented.

For instance, in retrospect it can be seen that the financial crisis of —9 could have been avoided if the banks had paid more attention to the risks associated with their investments, but how should banks change the way they make decisions to improve the quality of their decisions in the future?

Mulcaster's Managing Forces framework addresses this issue by identifying 11 forces that should be incorporated into the processes of decision making and strategic implementation.

Strategic planning is a means of administering the formulation and implementation of strategy. In other words, strategic planning happens around the strategy formation process.

Porter wrote in that formulation of competitive strategy includes consideration of four key elements:.

The first two elements relate to factors internal to the company i. There are many analytical frameworks which attempt to organize the strategic planning process.

Examples of frameworks that address the four elements described above include:. A number of strategists use scenario planning techniques to deal with change.

The way Peter Schwartz put it in is that strategic outcomes cannot be known in advance so the sources of competitive advantage cannot be predetermined.

Instead, scenario planning is a technique in which multiple outcomes can be developed, their implications assessed, and their likeliness of occurrence evaluated.

According to Pierre Wack , scenario planning is about insight, complexity, and subtlety, not about formal analysis and numbers. Some business planners are starting to use a complexity theory approach to strategy.

Complexity can be thought of as chaos with a dash of order. Complexity is not quite so unpredictable. It involves multiple agents interacting in such a way that a glimpse of structure may appear.

Once the strategy is determined, various goals and measures may be established to chart a course for the organization, measure performance and control implementation of the strategy.

Tools such as the balanced scorecard and strategy maps help crystallize the strategy, by relating key measures of success and performance to the strategy.

These tools measure financial , marketing , production , organizational development , and innovation measures to achieve a 'balanced' perspective.

Advances in information technology and data availability enable the gathering of more information about performance, allowing managers to take a much more analytical view of their business than before.

Strategy may also be organized as a series of "initiatives" or "programs", each of which comprises one or more projects.

Various monitoring and feedback mechanisms may also be established, such as regular meetings between divisional and corporate management to control implementation.

A key component to strategic management which is often overlooked when planning is evaluation. There are many ways to evaluate whether or not strategic priorities and plans have been achieved, one such method is Robert Stake 's Responsive Evaluation.

In expanding beyond the goal-oriented or pre-ordinate evaluation design, responsive evaluation takes into consideration the program's background history , conditions, and transactions among stakeholders.

It is largely emergent, the design unfolds as contact is made with stakeholders. While strategies are established to set direction, focus effort, define or clarify the organization, and provide consistency or guidance in response to the environment, these very elements also mean that certain signals are excluded from consideration or de-emphasized.

Mintzberg wrote in "Strategy is a categorizing scheme by which incoming stimuli can be ordered and dispatched.

As such, Mintzberg continued, "Strategy [once established] is a force that resists change, not encourages it. Therefore, a critique of strategic management is that it can overly constrain managerial discretion in a dynamic environment.

In , Gary Hamel coined the term strategic convergence to explain the limited scope of the strategies being used by rivals in greatly differing circumstances.

He lamented that successful strategies are imitated by firms that do not understand that for a strategy to work, it must account for the specifics of each situation.

Strategy should be seen as laying out the general path rather than precise steps. There will usually be only a small number of approaches that will not only be technically and administratively possible, but also satisfactory to the full range of organizational stakeholders.

In turn, the range of feasible implementation approaches is determined by the availability of resources. Various strategic approaches used across industries themes have arisen over the years.

These include the shift from product-driven demand to customer- or marketing-driven demand described above , the increased use of self-service approaches to lower cost, changes in the value chain or corporate structure due to globalization e.

One theme in strategic competition has been the trend towards self-service, often enabled by technology, where the customer takes on a role previously performed by a worker to lower costs for the firm and perhaps prices.

One definition of globalization refers to the integration of economies due to technology and supply chain process innovation.

Companies are no longer required to be vertically integrated i. In other words, the value chain for a company's product may no longer be entirely within one firm; several entities comprising a virtual firm may exist to fulfill the customer requirement.

For example, some companies have chosen to outsource production to third parties, retaining only design and sales functions inside their organization.

The internet has dramatically empowered consumers and enabled buyers and sellers to come together with drastically reduced transaction and intermediary costs, creating much more robust marketplaces for the purchase and sale of goods and services.

Examples include online auction sites, internet dating services, and internet book sellers. In many industries, the internet has dramatically altered the competitive landscape.

Services that used to be provided within one entity e. Author Phillip Evans said in that networks are challenging traditional hierarchies.

Value chains may also be breaking up "deconstructing" where information aspects can be separated from functional activity.

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Company Strategy Video

Strategy - Prof. Michael Porter (Harvard Business School)

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