4 Steps to Creating a Strategy in an Uncertain World - Deepstash
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Turning a world of uncertainty into a world of possibility

Turning a world of uncertainty into a world of possibility

The past few years have produced unprecedented disruptions, and companies find it near impossible to plan for the future.

Such a volatile environment needs a new approach to strategy. It requires an approach that relies less on looking at what the company can do and more on imagining what it could do.


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How to rethink strategy

Take a strict look at what your clients really want. Instead of drawing up customer profiles, companies should consider what individuals wish to achieve in that specific circumstance.

  • The entire organisation should be involved in the strategy development process, not just the corporate strategy team.
  • The process of devising and revising strategy should be continuous. Define the ultimate outcome, then continually adjust and adapt the strategy.
  • Companies should define their goal, but the strategy for achieving that end state should not be fixed.


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Find the big audacious goal

Find the big audacious goal

The first step is to find your big audacious goal to stretch your business and expand its value creation.

A key source of inspiration can be customer problems and desires, which change all the time. Ask them what they want instead of guessing. Also ask other stakeholders for new ideas - investors, government bodies, local communities, and employees.


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Break it down

  • Break down the big strategic goal into questions relating to different parts of your operations or business process. This will help to anchor the strategy-devising process within the organisation.
  • Come up with questions rather than searching for answers. This can reveal hidden possibilities and angles you may not have thought of.

This exercise will result in a series of sub-questions grouped by subject area.


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Generate ideas

Generate ideas

Take each sub-question and generate ideas and strategic options. You no longer think about the questions but look for strategic ideas.

Look at what top performers in your own industry and elsewhere do.


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Identify the best options

Identify which strategic options from the previous step best deliver on each of the sub-questions.

  1. Define what success looks like for the process in question,
  2. then run the new solution in parallel to the existing one.

When the alternative solution outperforms the incumbent one, shelve the existing process. Continuously challenge existing solutions.

For each process, ask:

  1. Is this part of our true value proposition?
  2. Do we have the capabilities and resources to master this area?

Only do the things for which you can answer yes to both questions.


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