The Forgotten Ingredients of a Winning Strategy

The Forgotten Ingredients of a Winning Strategy


Don’t forget to add your belief and ideas

Beliefs and ideas are the forgotten ingredients of winning strategies. Many of the management teams I engage with view strategy as a process of rational and objective goal setting supported by a staged execution plan.

The goals and objectives almost always outline a logically, defensible, grander and more profitable future state. The plan itself is usually made up of past practices with a few more products, markets and customer sets thrown in to the mix.

Very really are the hidden beliefs and ideas that shape the future vision of the business explored in any detail. This is a pity because failures in strategy are often not caused by bad execution logic.

Try this five step recipe:

1. Develop a formal belief and ideas forum within your team.

This will force your team to engage the process. Get together once a quarter.

2. Deconstruct your current strategy and operating habits into beliefs and originating ideas.

This can span:

  • How customers make decisions
  • Why they actually procure your product or services
  • Why your ideas on value still make sense
  • What differences in beliefs and ideas are your competitors trading off
  • How contrary are they to our own
  • What events could nullify our core idea

3. Capture your current content strategy into a shared list.

This does not have to be overly formal. Use whatever medium allows you to best describe the concepts. The scribing process is however important as putting it down sharpens your insights and understanding.

4. Debate why these are still valid with the view to sourcing new insights that differ inform or nature.

Examples may include:

  • Customers will increasingly value cost reduction over functional embellishment
  • Customers value accuracy over timorousness
  • It’s too difficult for competitors to replicate our approach
  • Our product is too complex for customers to buy online
  • Direct relationship driven channels will always be more valued than impersonal indirect ones

5. Lastly, determine how the changes above need to manifest in competitive behaviour

  • Are your current goals and objectives still valid?
  • Are you selling the correct products?
  • Are you competing for the correct customers?
  • Is your positioning still relevant?
Kevin Mackenzie
Kevin has 19 years of diverse entrepreneurial and consulting experience. He is the founder of Conversations in Growth a boutique consultancy specialising in the understanding of and working with strategy in practice. CIG has engaged multiple management teams, of various sizes and industries. CIG has developed a robust and practical set of thinking tools, frameworks and insights required to engage and operationalise strategy. Kevin founded and manages Floyd's 99 and Kevin guest lectures on growth strategy at Gibs and the CT Graduate School of Business as well as delivering talks to management teams busy with their strategy formation and management process. Contact Kevin here.