Sep 09 2016
Mastering strategy and making it fun!

By Dr Michael Cassop Thompson

It is probable that, like me, you may prefer work when things are challenging, enjoyable and fun. Strategy, the bane of many a leader or managers life, can also be fun if you are adequately equipped to tackle the challenges it throws up. Basically, the problems and opportunities that you encounter whilst ‘doing strategy’ can be mastered by your ability to successfully address them. The greater your understanding of what to do in all areas of strategy, the less likely it is to be a mundane and arduous undertaking and the more fun you can experience.

When delivering various strategy training and development activities to organisations, I find that the participants have a number of key concerns that make strategy onerous. Namely:

  • What exactly is to be addressed when ‘doing strategy’?
  • How can ideas concerning what needs to be addressed be coherently ordered?
  • How can objectives and means of achieving them be formulated?
  • How can strategy be implemented?
  • How can strategy be evaluated?
  • How should strategy be written and what specifically should it contain?
  • How should strategy be communicated to various stakeholders?

A starting point: type of strategy

A key basic issue needs to be considered prior to addressing such questions as detailed above and that is:

What type of strategy are you intending to address?

For example, clients strategy needs that I have encountered includes: corporate, competitive, marketing, marketing communications, media, content, digital, social media, human resources, reward and benefits and learning and development. Not to mention many overlapping combinations of the aforementioned. Fortunately, a clear understanding of the type of strategy to be addressed aids the whole process from conceiving to writing strategy.

Once the type of strategy is clearly identified, a series of logical and detailed stages need to be addressed. These key stages are generic to all strategy development. Namely: analysis, formulation, implementation and evaluation. However, the details needing to be attended to at each key stage are very different depending upon the type of strategy you wish to develop. For example, competitive strategy will need to consider differing issues (i.e. how shall we gain competitive advantage), than say, media strategy (i.e. what ‘media flow’ is best for reaching our target audiences). Similarly, corporate strategy will need to be communicated to differing audiences than say HR strategy. Of course, these are simply isolated examples of the many issues that need to be focussed upon within the overall framework of analysis, formulation, implementation and evaluation. The key to unlocking the specifics to be concentrated upon is understanding the type of strategy you wish to develop. The Centre helps you identify and target the correct areas to be addressed and assists you in conceiving and developing rigorous strategy that stands up to scrutiny.

Strategy is easy

Strategy, rather than the nightmare some perceive it to be, is relatively simple if addressed correctly. It never needs to be a tedious task. They key point is strategy should be an aid which is workable and helpful to you; fun even. It should be something you want to do because it is simple and helps you. I said at the beginning of this blog that being equipped to address strategy is necessary for tackling its challenges. This will ensure that strategy is something you can look forward to embracing. If, for you, this is not the case, then take action. Strategy should not be dull. It should be fun.

What next

You may be interested in the Strategy: from the vision to implementation course to get you started or our Strategic planning and thinking skills course to help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary to allow you to address your strategy needs.

Dr Michael Cassop Thompson has a passion for delivering interactive, transformational, engaging and inspirational courses. The learner is always at the centre of the experience. During the past 16 years he has designed, developed and delivered commercial training seminars and workshops to over 10,000 candidates throughout the UK.

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