Strategy is about the future – how you will create and capture value for customers in the years to come. Rooted in today, but informed by the trends, forces, and opportunities of tomorrow.
Strategic thinking is big picture, long-range, and externally directed. It’s about deciding how to win tomorrow. Strategy is about innovation and risk. It’s about creating value for customers and capturing part of that value for you.
Tactical thinking is short range, process oriented, and internally focused. It’s about managing resources for maximum efficiency and productivity. It’s about winning today. “Strategic planning” in this environment is too often about how to tweak last year’s budget for the next year, not thinking strategically.
Thinking more strategically can help you win tomorrow, so here are 30 tweets to help you get started.
- Strategy starts with a vision, a mission, and values.
- Vision is where you are going. Mission is why you are in business. Values determine how you conduct yourself.
- There are over 11,000 books on business strategy at Amazon. No single one of them is right for you.
- A business model is what you do, for whom, how you get paid, and what you spend. Invent, change, and optimize it.
- A startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. (Steve Blank)
- Ask basic questions: Who is it for? Why will they buy it? Why will they buy it from you?
- How would customers prefer to run their lives or businesses? Figure out how to help them do that.
- They’re “hiring” you to do a “job”, not buying your product. Figure out what jobs they need done.
- “People don’t want a quarter inch drill. They want a quarter inch hole.”
- Ask, “What trends affect the present, and how will possible futures look? How will we create and capture value in those futures?”
- Being “paranoid” helps strategic thinking. (Andy Grove.) Being complacent doesn’t.
- What worked yesterday won’t work tomorrow. Value migrates. “Sustainable competitive advantage” is a pipe dream.
- No one ever won a race by looking in the rear-view mirror.
- In business, there is no finish line. Well, there is, but if you cross it, it’s not called “winning”.
- “Where you compete, how you compete, and how you win is very different when sustainable competitive advantage is no longer sustainable.”
- Differentiation doesn’t always mean high price. “Value Innovation” combines low price with high buyer value.
- Look for people who aren’t your customers – there are far more of them. Why they aren’t your customers? Change what needs changing.
- Fish where the fish are, not where the boats are.
- Customers are segmented by having common needs and buying patterns. Not by demographics. Give them a reason to buy.
- No one ever answered the question “Why did you buy that?” with “Because I’m between the ages of 18 and 34.”
- Plan for the future — and prepare to react to changes that weren’t in your plan.
- Success may be measured by profit margin, earnings per share, market cap, and other figures, but these are NOT strategic objectives.
- Financial measures are lagging indicators of strategic decisions, NOT strategic objectives.
- “Disruption” is overused. It doesn’t mean “some fundamental change came along and caused companies to go out of business.”
- Disruption happens when enough people prefer something different from the status quo. Hoping that people will come back isn’t a strategy.
- “Behind every truly brilliant strategic victory stands a slow-moving competitor.”
- If your relationship with customers is based on price, your customer can be bought away.
- If you give something away, it is worth nothing.
- If you sell advertising to support what you give away, your customers are the advertisers. Your users are the product. (Tim Cook)
- There are only two industries that call their customers “users”. The technology industry is one.
We hope these tweets helps kickstart more strategic thinking! You can also find them in retweetable form on Twitter @StrategicEdgeER.
Strategic Edge Executive Resources, LLC provides strategic planning and training to business leaders and their teams. We are the only company that combines strategic planning with executive education, leaving the leadership team with both a plan they developed, and the “language” they need to make it work. Find us at www.StrategicEdgeER.com, on Twitter @StrategicEdgeER, and at our Facebook page StrategicEdgeER.