When I thought about strategy before, I always thought about something rigid, something planned that you had about your business and that you had to stick to it no matter what. Well, actually, as I learned, strategy has a lot do with creativity. You have to be creative to create a strategy.
As we learned in class we can define strategy as: “the determination of the long-run goals and objectives of an enterprise and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resource necessary for carrying out these goals to the satisfaction of its stakeholders”.
So strategy is something long-term, it depends on the industry and the product. It is not something immediate, it has different levels of action to achieve it. And most importantly, it has to be adaptable to change.
There are several ways of looking at strategy and it is a broad subject to analyse. I like to reflect on Henry Mintzberg’s Five P’s for Strategy. These five elements are examined by Bilton et al. (2010) where it can be used as separate entities or a combination of them.
We can think of strategy:
As a Plan. A set of guidelines that are determined to take into action. Every plan is different, as every business is different, even if they are in the same industry, or even the same product. This is intended.
As a Pattern. It is a consistent action over time. If it worked before, it might work again. It is not creating something new but doing something that had good results before. This is something you realise.
As a Position. Try to match what other businesses are doing in the same market environment, or niche, in order to better place than the competitors in that area.
As a Ploy. As Bilton et al. (2010) explain “a strategy can be as much about what the competition thinks a company might or could do than what it actually does”. You have to be aware of competitors and what they are doing to form or change your strategy. A good example is a film production company that options a book even if they have no intention of doing it, just to take that book from the market so other companies can’t do it.
As Perspective. This is a very creative strategy. The company creates their own way of doing it, follow their own vision, their own way of looking at life. It is offering something new.
As the market today is changing and evolving constantly, a business has to be able to adapt. Sometimes that means not following just one of the strategies above but combining them in order to achieve your goal as a company. But this all requires creativity and once again adaptability to change.
As always, I leave you a nice little video explaining more about the Five P’s.
Bilton, C., & Cummings, Stephen. (2010). Creative strategy : Reconnecting business and innovation (Images of business strategy). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Mintzberg’s 5P’s. Link: https://youtu.be/I4mqckiHEkI. Accessed: 20 December 2017.