Be Sure Your Strategic Plan is Clear - dummies

By Erica Olsen

Being precise and having a flow to your strategic planning process helps you stand out from the crowd when giving that pitch. But remember, standing out from the crowd takes going through the strategic management process, which facilitates making hard choices about your future direction.

In summary, a strategy

  • Establishes unique value proposition compared to your competitors

  • Is executed through operations that provide different and tailored value to customers

  • Identifies clear tradeoffs and clarifies what not to do

  • Focuses on activities that fit together and reinforce each other

  • Drives continual improvement within the organization and moves it toward its vision

If you want to catch a potential customer’s attention and keep your employees motivated to come to work every day, be ready to know your strategy and talk about it. Consider the following example that Harvard Business School professors David Collis and Michael Rukstad developed to clearly state Edward Jones’s strategy:

“To grow to 17,000 financial advisors by 2012 by offering trusted and convenient face-to-face financial advice to conservative individual investors who delegate their financial decisions through a national network of one-on-one financial adviser offices.”

By crystallizing your strategy, you’re better able to be succinct when talking to your employees and customers about your company. And doing so helps you look better than the competition in their eyes.