No one would start to play a competitive game without knowing how to win.
Many business flounder at strategy. Without a Winning Aspiration, you’re playing a competitive game, failing to keep score on how you will win.
As a result, revenue growth, the outcome of getting strategy right, suffers.
In this blog we’ve shared the five steps to building a Winning Strategy from Playing to Win:
- What Strategy Is And Isn’t: Playing to Win
- PLAYING TO WIN – YOUR STRATEGY 5 CHOICES
- Strategy - What is Your Winning Aspiration?
- Strategy – Where to Play?
- Strategy – How to Win?
- Strategy - What Are Your Core Capabilities? Play to Your Strengths
- Strategy: Playing to Win Step 5 - Management Systems
- Think Through Strategy: Why
Craft Your Strategy
We’ve framed the five questions in the strategic choice cascade in previous blogs.
All five must be answered, coordinated, and integrated to craft a powerful strategy and lasting competitive advantage.
How and where do you start? How do you generate and choose between possibilities at each stage?
It is difficult to assess the value of any subsequent choice without your Winning Aspiration.
Playing to Win suggests, rather than dwell on crafting the perfect definition of winning, sketch a prototype first. Then return to it later, refining it when you have the rest of the cascade in mind.
Remember strategy is an iterative process.
The real work of strategy begins with where to play and how to win—the heart of strategy. These choices define what you will do, and where you will do it, to generate competitive advantage.
There are four dimensions you need to think about to choose where to play and how to win:
- The industry. What is the structure of your industry and the attractiveness of its segments?
- Customers. What do your channel and end customers value?
- Relative position. How does your company fare, and how could it fare, relative to the competition?
- Competition. What will your competition do in reaction to your chosen course of action?
Porter’s five forces help define the fundamental attractiveness of a given industry and its individual segments. Understanding structural attractiveness allows leaders to determine how to invest in various segments within their business. Visit How to Define Strategy Using Porter’s Five Forces or Porter’s original article in HBR How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy for insights.
The following video provides insight into Porters Five Forces:
REMINDER – WHY YOU NEED A STRATEGY
Competitive advantage provides the only protection a company can have.
A company with a competitive advantage earns a greater margin between revenue and cost than other companies do for engaging in the same activity. You can use this additional margin to fight other companies, which will not have the resources to defend themselves.
You can use the advantage to win. Low cost and differentiation seem like simple concepts, but they are very powerful in terms of keeping companies honest about their strategies.
STRATEGY LOGIC FLOW DOS AND DON’TS
Follow the Strategic Logic Flow here to develop your Play to Win Strategy.
The authors’ suggest the following Do’s and Don’ts:
Do explore all four critical dimensions of strategy choice: industry, customers, relative position, and competition.
Do look beyond your current understanding of the industry, pushing to generate new ways of segmenting the market.
Don’t accept that entire industries are or must be unattractive; explore the drivers of different dynamics in different segments, and ask how the game could be changed.
Do consider both channel and end consumer value equations; if only one of these constituents is happy, your strategy is a fragile one. A winning strategy is a win-win-win; it creates value for consumers, customers, and the company.
Don’t expect either the channel or the end consumers to tell you what constitutes value; that is your job to figure out.
Don’t be blasé about your relative capabilities or costs; compare them with those of your best competition, and really push to understand how you can win against them.
Do explore a range of possible competitive reactions to your choices, and ask under what conditions competitors could block you from winning.
If you’ve been following these Playing to Win blog’s, you know strategy is not easy.
It is simple.
Follow the five steps, review them annually, and make sure you keep score on how you are doing. The first step starts by crafting a Winning Aspiration.
Need help developing your Winning Strategy? Contact Positioning Systems: email@example.com
Growth demands Strategic Discipline.
Strategy Decisions result in top line revenue growth. Positioning Systems helps you determine your best strategy for your future growth.
Positioning Systems helps your business achieve these outcomes on the Four most Important Decisions your business faces:
We help your business achieve Execution Excellence.
Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $250M) business Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing! To achieve growth, you need to evolve in today’s rapidly changing economic environment. Have you been avoiding a conversation on how you can successfully grow your business? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to Scale Up your business! Take our Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.
Next Blog – Work Smart – GREAT AT WORK
Great by Choice lesser know co-author Morten Hansen will be at the Scale Up Summit in Denver next week. In Great at Work Hansen shares seven “work smart” practices to improve your work performance. It’s not surprising the first Hansen’s first and most productive practice is on Priority. Next blog, work smart’s most productive practice: Do Less, then Obsess!