In the world of competitive advantage, strategic thinkers win the war while tactics win battles.
Joe runs a profitable company, providing value to his customers and providing him of the lifestyle he wants to live. He did not make it to this level solely by luck and hard work. He intentionally and strategically designed his success.
When he created the business 15 years ago, he purposely set out to be the best. He was the first to use computers to control and measure processes. He sought out every activity that would garner good press for his business. Joe’s company was, and still is, the standard by which everyone else in the industry was measured.
Joe knew it was about winning, not just playing the game. He knew he had to learn four things if he was going to be the best of the best.
- Where did he compete in the industry?
- What unique value did he bring?
- What resources and capabilities could he utilize?
- Could he create a sustainable advantage?
Joe figured out the answers to his questions. How do you create a great strategy in your organization? How do you give yourself a strategic advantage over the competition? Learning how to ask strategic questions is a great place to start. A strategic question:
- Creates motion and is open-ended.
- Creates options.
- Digs deeper and stirs things up.
- Avoids “yes” or “no”; these words close down dialogue.
- Is empowering, e.g. what would it take for you to….?
- Asks the unaskable – it tackles taboos and draws attention to the elephant in the room.
Ultimately strategy tells you what NOT to do as you prioritize your effort to set your organization apart. For more clarity check out “What is Strategy?”