Since Michael Porter published his first article “how competitive forces shape strategy” in the Harvard Business Review in 1979 and spawned a whole new library of experts keen to impress their views and beliefs on already confused business leaders, it has become increasingly difficult to identify real clarity in strategic thinking
From Porters revolutionary beginning, every month brings us another ‘latest and greatest’ strategy book or the ‘new world strategic thinking’ article and if you have enough time to study and read all these amazingly erudite and believable tomes, isn’t it fascinating how in some way they all seem to subtly contradict each other. Reread these masterpieces and how often do you see the shining example used at that point in time appear as the Emperors new clothes a few years down the line, time after time.
At Fresh Oxygen we believe very strongly not to over complicate your process of making the right strategic choices. We see there being three distinct options when you start to look at the right choices for your business, either i) do something new (read Blue Ocean Strategy if you want a sense of just how hard this is to pull off) ii) react opportunistically to emerging possibilities (read Judo Strategy if you want to see how to take advantage of an online niche ) or iii) build on what you already do well (read Hardball: five killer strategies for trouncing the competition if you want to see how to really get aggressive)
Step two of our programme will provide you with a set of tools to get to the right strategic choices, to test them before you decide and to also help you to pick what not to do. We explore four specific areas of your business with you, looking at the market, your competitors, customers and
- Your business and brand proposition, articulate exactly what your brand and business proposition is going to be
- Identify the big picture trends which could impact your sector in the medium term
- Start to align resource requirement (physical, human and capital) with strategic intent
- Build two financial models to show the rapid vs staged growth options
In some ways, although building the plan is the most important part of the Five Step Programme, it is also the easiest. We are all adept these days at Powerpoint Strategy, producing glitzy sophisticated business plan presentations which smooth the audience through a gilded and serene world to the promised land.
Fresh Oxygen will make sure that you stay grounded while you go through the process, grounded in reality and grounded in truth…..its much less painful in the long run