Strategy continues to dominate management realms even though it is not widely understood the it should be. Confusion of strategy with management and operational efficiencies has continued even in recent times especially
where the later has yielded positive results. So what is called strategy could easily pass as operational efficiencies. So,
what is strategy?
Strategy can be thought of as the creation of a unique and valuable position/proposition which involves different set of activities or programs.
So, strategy involves making clear and distinct choices and at the heart of it, is taking a position in the marketplace. Strategic positioning can emerge from choices such as:
- Serving few needs of many customers
- Serving broad needs of few customers
- Serving broad needs of many customers in a market segment
From the above propositions, What is your position? Strategy then, requires choices to be made. These are what to do and what not to do. It is important to have in mind that some competitive activities are incompatible.
For instance, if you position a soap as medicinal, you may not succeed effectively if you position it as a cleansing agent at the same time.
In banking, you are either public domain (bank) or member based (credit unions). You can’t be both.
Depending on the strategic track you are running you must then create a strategic fit of activities to execute strategic choices/initiatives.
Competitive strategy is about being different, doing things differently or providing unique products and services.
The unique products, services, processes and or activities must be choreographed to fit together to bring forth a competitive advantage.
This strategic fit of activities and programs drives both competitive advantage and institutional sustainability.
At the heart of a competitive strategy is a position taken in the marketplace, driven by deliberate informed choices arising from a defined purpose that shapes initiatives and programs that executes that strategy itself.