Corporate Level Strategy
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Corporate Level Strategy

Hi, my name is Erica Olsen. Today’s whiteboard session is our corporate
level strategies. Strategy is one of the most widely misused
terms in strategic planning. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to clarify
the confusion so you can use it effectively and build a truly strategic plan. So we’re going to define the word “strategy”
as a guiding approach and specific to this whiteboard session because we’re focused on
corporate-level strategy, we’re answering the question, “Where we play and how will
we win?” So we answer those questions in a couple of
different ways. I’d like to think about them in sort of almost
like three different levels. So the first level is the degree of shift,
and this isn’t a traditional type of strategy but it is a guiding approach to a planning
process that you need to clarify for your planning process. Sometimes the degree of shift that you’re
intending with your process and intending with your plan is incremental and what I mean
by that is most planning processes are intended to move an organization from where it is today
to somewhere in the future. And that future state may be somewhat similar
to where we are today or it may be totally different. It may be transformational and it may be somewhere
in between. So what’s important for you is to be clear
about what’s the degree of shift that your plan is intending and you’re intending to
move with your organization? Is it incremental? A little adjustment. Is it substantive? A little bit more. Is it transformational? A lot more. So that’s level one. Level two are your organization-wide strategies. Organization-wide strategies are overarching,
which is why we call them that. They’re also called generic strategies, taking
a page off of Michael Porter’s book, specifically “The Guru of Strategy,” and this type of strategy
answers the question, “How will we win?” So there are three ways you can answer that
question and what’s important for you to listen for as I’m going through this is you need
lead and compete on one of these three and you need to be good at the others. So the first one is lowest total cost. If you’re leading with this, you’re competing
on scale. Think Southwest. And if you’re competing on scale, you need
to be differentiated and really, really good at price, meaning delivering the total lowest
price or lowest value. Really starting at the lowest price per se. You need to have good quality but it doesn’t
have to be five star, good value. And a, probably, okay selection but not a
broad selection. Again, to compete on scale. The second strategy that you could compete
on and win in is product service leadership, and if you’re leading with that, you’re competing
on speed. And when we mean speed, we mean first to market. So to be differentiated and to win with this
strategy, you’ve got to be good at getting to market first and you’ve got to be good
at building the product that is the best of the best, the most innovative. The third strategy is executing a customer
intimacy strategy and winning on scope. And by scope we mean a specific target market
with a specific set of needs that you’re serving through products and services. Think Edward Jones. And to be differentiated and really win with
this strategy, you need to be great at delivering amazing customer service and client service
and developing and sustaining amazing relationships. So, again, like I said, you need to pick one
and be good at the other two. All right, the next level is our growth strategies
and that answers the question, “Where we play?” There are four of them and there are nice
two by two matrix just to give us some context. So on the top is our markets, current markets
we’re in and new markets we might enter. Our products and services, current that we
have to sell and new that we might develop. So if you have more potential in your current
markets with your current products, you can grow through a market penetration strategy. If there are new markets that you can enter
with your current products, that’s a market development strategy. If there are new products, and think new new,
that you can develop and sell into your current markets, that’s a product development strategy. And new markets and new products is a diversification
strategy. Certainly, market penetration is less risky
than diversification. Unlike org-wide strategies, you can certainly
execute more than one growth strategy and you probably are. More than two is probably too much but more
than one is likely. So with that, those are the three different
levels of strategy. They help you answer the question, “Where
we play? How will we win?” and if you answer those
really succinctly and clearly, you know you have a truly strategic plan. That’s all we have for today. Subscribe to our channel. Happy strategizing.

About Ralph Robinson

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16 thoughts on “Corporate Level Strategy

  1. I think the external analysis and the internal analysis are important to do before you start a company strategy or product strategy. I think DESTEP and SWOT are a good basis for a stategy.

  2. strategy means a detailed map shows where are we now, where are we going to be in the future and where were we in the past. so , a roadmap is a better way to understand and develop a comprehensive framework to guide to improvement

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