The path to achieving strategic business goals — whether pursuing operational excellence, or growth opportunities — requires a certain amount of change. So is change necessary to win in today’s competitive economy? W. Edwards Deming, the so-called father of the quality evolution flatly informs us: “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”
This is a stark warning to those companies and leaders who are stuck in their ways. Change must be embraced. If it’s avoided the inevitable outcome, according to Deming, is an eventual collapse and failure of the outmoded firm; supplanted by more innovative companies that better serve customer needs. Therefore it seems wise to heed the common platitude: change is the only constant.
So what does it take to make a business not only succeed but flourish? First, there needs to be a clearly articulated vision and strategy. The strategy should be informed by the vision of the company. The vision is where the company sees itself going, based on its strengths, and market opportunities. To fully realize the company vision, however, a well crafted strategy must be designed, communicated and followed.
Given the company culture, the strategy is a playbook that aims to inform the planning process to guide operational activites. This achieves alignment such that everything works together toward achieving the company’s strategic goals, bringing it closer to its vision. After agreeing on company goals — targets to aim for — a strategy can then be formulated to navigate the market to successfully achieve these ends.
Without a formally thought out and articulated strategy that guides and informs daily decision making, there would be a chaotic environment, indecision, waste and inefficiency. A failure to execute a rational strategy will lead to lackluster company performance. Clearly, it is critical to have the right strategy.
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