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A simple approach to strategy - 5 important questions

People often make strategy harder than it needs to be. Some people focus too much on the tools; SWOTs, environmental analysis, customers, competitors etc. Others get stuck with their head in the clouds focusing only on broad, blue sky future stuff or that it is only something we do when a big change is underway.

The reality is strategy is about all of these things, and to do it effectively you need to do a bit on all of them.


Try these five questions you can use to guide your strategic process:


  1. What are our broad aspirations for our firm and the concrete goals which we can measure our progress?
  2. Across the commercial landscape available to us, where will we choose to play?
  3. In our chosen areas, how will we win against the competitors in that space?
  4. What capabilities do we need to build and maintain to win?
  5. What management systems are required to operate, build, maintain and measure our key capabilities?


What you will find is that very quickly you are able to articulate the most important things your organisation needs to do. You also need to make sure that the answer to each question reinforces the others.

Iterate your way down the list, you might be surprised that crafting your strategy in smaller, more concise chunks make the whole process that little less painful

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