When I asked most owners, what is your strategy? They answer:

  • My excellent customer service
  • My company’s prices are unbeatable
  • My on-time delivery is faster than anyone else’s
  • My quality is unbeatable

Are any of these really a strategy?

According to Michael Porter, arguably the best strategic expert alive today, most private businesses confuse operational effectiveness for strategy. Operational effectiveness is just what it means. Your business in terms of how it produces, delivers, and fulfills its product or service can be measured in terms of operational effectiveness. This however, has nothing to do with having either a competitive advantage or a strategy. So what is an actual strategy? It helps to define all the words around strategy:

  • Mission: What you mean to do
  • Vision: What getting there looks like
  • Strategy: How you will achieve your mission and realize your vision
  • Tactics: What you will do to execute your strategy

So next time you are asked, “What is your strategy?” You will know better than to say it is my quality, service, pricing or delivery! In upcoming posts, I will be speaking a lot on strategy and strategic thinking. Stay tuned.

Copyright 2015 Andy Birol All Rights Reserved

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