The question of what a strategy is seems to be the crux of the matter when ruminating on what business strategy entails.
The answer to the above sentence however may end up being complicated than foreseen. This is because we have heard of people mention the word strategy in different parlances. For example, people talk about a strategy for a business, a strategy for a military assignment, a strategy for a football match or strategy for even passing a proposed examination.
However, it has been suggested that nobody can claim to own the word ‘strategy’ and that it’s a term that can be rightly used in multiple ways.
A strategy can be a plan, a ploy, a pattern of behavior, a position in respect of others or a perspective. Although all of this meanings tend to help us have different views of what a strategy is, it is also important not to see them as being in isolation from the other in the sense that they are not mutually exclusive as it is possible for a business or an organization to show evidence of more than one interpretation of strategy.
Truly, businesses in this instant age puts a big demand on the need for a working strategy to remain a going concern as companies/firms and organizations are expected to innovate, reinvent and keep themselves on a sharp edge that helps them to stand out and be known for thriving above normalcy.
Asides the fact that business strategy is never a once and for all event, it goes on and on and there keeps being a need to continually review strategic business objectives because the environment we live in is a dynamic one which keep changing day in day out. In light of the foregoing, the several meanings attributed to what a strategy is would be succinctly described as follow;
A plan is likely what most persons would take the word strategy to mean. It tends to imply something that is intentionally put in train and its progress is monitored from the beginning to forecasted endpoint. Some business strategies follow this business model. ‘Planners’ will most likely produce internal documents that spells out what the company will do for a period of time in the future. It might include a schedule for a new product launches, acquisitions, and financing or human resource changes.
On the other hand, a ploy is generally taken to mean a short term strategy. It tends to have limited scope and it may be subjected to change at short notice. One of the best examples of a ploy strategy is that employed in a football match. If the opposing team has a certain skillful player, the team lead may use the ploys of assigning two players to mark him for the duration of the game.
A pattern may be likened to one in which progress is achieved by adopting a consistent form of behavior. Unlike plans and ploys, patterns ensue as a result of a rather consistent behavior.
On simple level, small businesses like scrap dealers follow pattern strategies. They are unlikely to produce elaborate plans. They simply buy as much metal scrap as they can however they would not buy old clothes because that would be totally negating their pattern of business behavior. Eventually, following this consistent behavior makes the scrap dealer a wealthy person, thus it has been a successful strategy all the way.
Simply put, positioning means locating the organization in a specific area of market or space or within a specific ‘environment’.
The location or position is regarded as been the best fir between business organization and it’s environ or between the inward and outward contexts.
A position strategy is appropriate when the most important thing to an organization is how it relates to or is positioned in respect of its competitors or its marketers (or customers). This is usually evident and recurrent in the sporting game.
When a new athlete is crowned, their only objective would be to retain their superior position.
Consequently, all their efforts are invested in examining their future opponents and keeping in shape for the next defense of the title. In business, companies tend to seek such things as market share, profitability, superior research, reputation and the likes. It then becomes quite obvious that not all firms are equal when one considers such criteria.
Some food manufacturers are of an enviable and reliable repute and standard while others are not so fortunate. The competitors with a reputation to defend will the positioning strategy to ensure that the reputation they enjoy is maintained and continually preserved.
Perspective in this instance entails changing the culture which is the usually general belief and the way in which the world and its system is envisioned by a certain set of people. Some businesses want to make their employees think in a particular way, believing this to be an important way of achieving success.
For instance, the essence of preaching, teaching, worshipping and other practices is largely for the sake of imbibing certain beliefs into the personality of the believers hence success is achieved when al believers think in the same way and they all believe in the core doctrines that’ll help them work out their lives through good works.
Judging from the foregoing, strategy has evolved not just as a subject but as a process which becomes quite essential to the business minded man. Depending on the stance a company adopts, the purpose of strategy is either to make a business fit into its environment or to make use of the available resources of the business to reshape the environment and instill a bigger picture in the society as against what it currently is. By achieving this, such organization is more likely to succeed.
Basically, there are diverse terms used intermittently in giving more headway to the meaning of strategy as a process some of which are described as follows;
This can be described as a set of frameworks and techniques put in place to explain the factors underlying the performance of organizations and to assist managers in thinking planning and acting strategically. It is an avenue through which a business can review past performances and even go as far as determining future actions geared towards achieving and sustaining superior performance
This relates to the ability of leaders of a firm or organization to look into its future and think creatively about its potential development. This mode of thinking is fundamental to the long term development of the organization.
This is concerned with the process by which leaders, managers and organizations learn about themselves, their business and environment. Strategic learning is vital is vital to the development of the strategic knowledge on which superior performance is based.
This is centered on the setting of the organizational objectives as well as developing and implementing the plans designed to achieve these objectives. However, on the flip side of this, strategic planning is often associated with a highly prescriptive approach to strategic management. While the uncertainty of the modern business environment means that detailed and prescriptive long term planning, related to strategic thinking and vision, is necessary if strategic intent is to be translated into action.
The Components Of Strategy In Business
The Determination Of The Basic Long Term Goalss
This concerns the conceptualization of coherent and attainable strategic objectives. Without objectives, nothing else can happen. If you do not know where you are headed to, how you can act or go about getting there or even fathom what to do when you have arrived?
The Adoption Of Courses Of Action
This refers to the actions taken to arrive at the objectives that must have been previously set. For instance, if a person’s objective is to be in Italy, the actions that should likely follow would include the arrangement of the transportation process. This might be done by consulting travelling agents, servicing ones car, or using the internet to book.
The Allocation Of Resources
This refers to the fact that there is likely to be a cost associated with the actions required to achieve the objectives.
If the course of action is not supported with adequate levels of resource, and the resources aligned to the business, that simply poses that the objective will not be accomplished and also amount to a malnourished system which is not likely to produce tangible results if any. This is likened to the way human beings can only constantly survive on consistent intake of water, air, warmth, shelter and so on.
In the same vein, organizations need the right resources to preserve relevance and also remain a going concern.
In essence, the concept of strategy as a process is the most important activity that should be undertaken by a firm, business or organization because how effectively and skillfully these activities are carried out will determine the eventual long term success or failure of the business.