As we begin 2013, now is a great time for you and your leadership team to step back and take a fresh look at the strength of your company’s strategy. But how do you measure a strategy’s strength? Here are a few questions from my strength-of-strategy questionnaire to get the conversation started with your executive team. (Some of these questions were adapted for small business from Paul Leinwand’s and Cesare Mainardi’s Coherence Profiler.)
Would you say your company has a meaningful differentiation that gives you the right to charge more and/or earn higher margins than your competitors?
Not at All (1)
At times (4)
Which of these best describes how your executive team thinks about your strategy when looking for growth? (Pick One)
√ We look at what we’re great at and find a market where we can capitalize best on those capabilities. (5)
√ We choose an attractive market and figure out how to be successful in it. (3)
√ We pursue a broad portfolio of strategic options and spread the risk. (0)
Does your company have a clearly stated set of capabilities that you are GOOD at (not necessarily better than competitors) or GREAT at (something competitors find hard to beat and customers value)?
√ Yes (Good at) (3)
√ Yes (Great at) (5)
√ Not Sure (0)
√ No (0)
Use the scoring to get the conversation going, not as a pass/fail:
- Does your team have differing thoughts about the effectiveness of your current strategy?
- Do they know what your strategy is? Can they state it? Do they hold a consistent view?
- And, do they know what they can do to contribute to the strategy in a way to make it stronger?
If it looks like your strategy is strong, then shift the conversation to looking for ways to make it even stronger. Chances are your competitors are not far behind. But if your discussion exposes a few weak areas, then follow this link to my short topic Four Steps to Reconnect to Your Strategy.
If you would like my complete 14 question strength-of-strategy assessment, drop me a quick note at firstname.lastname@example.org .