Strategy is not a ‘set and forget’ process.

Strategy is a craft and more akin to a work of art than a scientific process.

Scientia in Latin means “knowledge” and scientists organise knowledge in the form of proofs and predictions about the nature of things.

Ars in Latin means skill or “craft” and artists develop skilful means and techniques to create.

As your business environment becomes less and less predictable, it will be handy to have a craftsperson on hand, who can paint you a series of strategy options.

Some options might be:

  1.  Adapting your approach. Take what you do to a new market place or market space. e.g. move your bookstore or bikestore online.
  2. Shaping your market. Promote what you do to existing markets in a way that increases your level of attraction. e.g. McDonalds now sells healthier meals, juices and wraps.
  3. Renewing your strategy.  It may be time to “kill your darlings” and develop new products and offerings based on a new or visionary approach, such as deciding to cannibalise your greatest, but now out of date product. e.g. When Apple introduced the more feature-rich iPhones and iTouches, they ate up sales for their lower-end iPods, including the nano, shuffle and classic series.

“Every battle is won before it is fought.” Sun Tzu

Harshness, Unpredictability and Options

There is a wonderful richness in crafting strategy, which is exciting to us at Next Step Consulting and empowering for our clients. We challenge and help our clients to create new open-ended options, when the harshness and unpredictability of their markets starts to change.

By helping clients paint new futures, they become more aware, agile and responsible and they ultimately learn the art of crafting strategy for themselves.

Sun Tzu said, “If you know the enemy (the harshness and unpredictability) and know yourself (your new open-ended opinions) you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”