Five Approaches to Strategy

Thursday, 09. May 2019

A guest article by Raphael Pfältzer

As business environments have grown more diverse in recent decades, picking the right approach to strategy for each context has become increasingly important. We believe there are five broad approaches to strategy:

As I recently took a close look at the visitor statistics for our strategy blog, I found myself rubbing my eyes in amazement: Nearly 40% of all visitors had clicked on the entry about John Kotter’s 8-step model! Despite the fact that, over the past few months, we have presented and discussed strategy models that would appear at first glance to be more modern ...

We distinguish two main tasks of successful companies: to develop a clear vision of where the company should be in ten years and to place the right focus regarding what actually needs to be done in the next three months. While most companies do have a vision statement, it often remains unnoticed hanging on some meeting room wall. A powerful, compelling guiding force is missing here, as well as the willingness to deal with the particular formulation. For a simple reason: the benefit is not apparent. A clear vision is much more than a colorfully formulated sentence which could just as well serve as an advertising slogan.

Should I increase my sales force, improve product quality, or reduce prices to benefit my customers? These are three common ways to lead a business into the next competition cycle of a contested market segment we surely have all discussed before. A sound corporate strategy, which has gained high predictive power due to the linking of soft and hard data, needs to answer such a question and give clear instructions for action. However, it can do that only if it was effectively implemented in the company...

In the strategy community, there has been a lot of discussion lately about the need for companies to continuously reinvent themselves in order to succeed in today’s complex, uncertain, and volatile business environment in the long-term. Not only products and services, but also the business model and the corporate culture need to evolve and change in increasingly short intervals. Strategic realignment and restructuring of a company is anything but an easy undertaking, though, and, in most cases, inevitably faced with resistance by the employees.