When I was a child, we played for the pure fun of the game. As everyone did. You had played card games, chess, soccer, football or basketball just for the joy of participating in a group competing one against each other. You rarely had interest in the results, just in the game and how to play it better (for you or for your team)!
As you were growing up though, the things become more serious and you start to pay attention to the results more than the game itself. The things become “serious” and, as an adult, you should produce results! This attitude though it was a mere shift of your attention! Today, you can gain both and the joy of the game and the required results as long as you have the right mindset and approach!
Strategy Is …
A strategy has many views and derived by many paths. Some come from war studies, some other by casual observations turned to approaches with extended impact, some from methodological frameworks developed for specific purposes. As is games and in life thinking strategically can provide you with many advantages!
Chess and Go, for instance, are strategy games aiming at providing you with a very specific mindset of viewing and acting in your life and business! Games teach you the same basic approaches in a controlled environment you can use to succeed in life and can unlock your potential by introducing you to the core competencies of living and working in a strategy oriented environment!
The strategy is a coordinated set of actions/activities aiming at serving a goal or solve a specific problem. Is simple as that!
It has though a large importance in the business section where the rules of contacts, the customs and the scarcity of resources are demand a more efficient proactive and reactive response in your moves.
Beyond the what of the strategy, you must acknowledge that strategy today has a vast area of application and a huge impact both on a personal as on professional level! To start thinking strategically you need to develop a very specific mindset incorporating some basic beliefs as:
- You need to embrace your individuality
- Strive after excellence, despite the outside conditions, personal limitations, and obstacles!
- You are responsible to any outcome of your life. If you do not like the outcome, then change the conditions lead to that outcome.
- You are able to design your future moves according to your requirements. You are the architect of your future, trying to become the “master of your fate” and the “captain of your soul” (just check the poem Invictus, by WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY)
- You try to act logically evaluating the “plus” and “minus” of each situation you need to handle.
- You “think big” and try to see the “whole picture” in a situation. you try to employ a mode of thinking in your everyday life that includes the calculation of advantages and disadvantages in each situation not just for you but for all people this situation may concerns.
- You search for optimal paths and approaches to achieve your objectives.
- You search for the why and how of each situation you have to handle for managing it with an optimal way.
- You set your goals based on your life plan, your principles, your core values and the future you are envisioning for yourself
- You need to schedule your actions based on your goals, your values and your basic principles of operations
- Every activity or action should have an outcome, moving you further, towards the achievement of your goals
- You design and employ plans, approaches, and systems to help you manage and achieve your goals, to multiply your effect and produce a substantial impact on your environment
- There is always more room for learning, personal growth, business development and improvement of people, strategies, procedures, resources and, people
- You try to form strategic alliances with people, ideas, organization and resources which will provide you more means an option for the advancement of your goals under a prism of a win-win mindset for all parties involved.
among many other!
A Better Business Strategy
Developing a strategic mindset, though is the first step to a path of strategic thinking! You, also need an approach, which can help you to succeed in the selected areas of your life. You need a specific framework and systems to support it to start the thinks moving towards your personal and business goals.
You need a framework of thinking and doing which will permit you to draw a successful strategy in a specific situation or problem!
A framework as that, especially for the business sector, may be based on solid strategic principles and should include certain phases (adapted from the book: Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases) as:
- Phase 1: Develop a Strategic Vision,
- Phase 2: Set objectives,
- Phase 3: Develop a strategy for achieving the set vision and the objectives have been set,
- Phase 4: Implementation and execution of the strategy selected,
- Phase 5: Evaluation, Tweaking and, adaptation of the selected strategy in the changing market conditions.
Question: Do to think strategically? Do you use any specific strategy for conducting your business? What strategies are dominant in your life and business? Please, share your thoughts by sending me some comments! I would be happy to hear your opinion on business strategy or strategy in general!