Companies must define a strategy based on their unique skills, executable, measurable and focused. Get to know the formula of the great athlete Usain Bolt, replicate it in his company and go from vision and vision to the way of playing.
Usain Bolt, winner of eleven world titles and eight Olympic titles, made a radical bet that established him as the fastest athlete in the world. After his repeated victories in long competitions of 400 and 200 m, he decided to focus on 100 m races until become the best of the best.
As it did?
His first task was to detect his unique abilities, perfect them, polish his shortcomings, gain experience and beat his own records until he became the best.
His strengths are clear and he has consistently implemented them.
How to replicate Bolt’s methodology in your corporate strategy?
“The definitions of mission, vision and strategic objectives are not understood or executable by 80% by company collaborators and they tend to have a large gap between aspirations and reality.”
How to create a winning, understandable and executable strategy?
Define the set of unique capabilities of the company: that is, business skills that are in line with the way of doing things, with early challenges, with success stories. Tools that are not easily available and have a lot to do with day-to-day life and very little to do with having a great human team, good assets, a robust portfolio, cutting-edge technology and other elements that can be contracted, bought, incorporated and that are on the market. For example, the ability to make operations profitable, develop customized products in a short time or at a very low cost, leadership in a niche. “There must be between three and six engines that allow the company to reliably and consistently deliver a specific and relevant result in a market,” explains Óscar Prada, Strategy and Consulting Leader at Price Waterhouse Coopers.
“The only proven and sustainable way to create true competitive advantage is to put differentiating capabilities at the heart of your strategy.”
Establish a way of playing in the market: it is the way in which value is going to be generated for customers and for the sector in which the company operates. There are standardized ways to do it, the most common are being a Category Leader , like Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, which have the largest market share in their category; Aggregator , such as Amazon or Apple, that bring together multiple providers into a single experience; Consolidator , such as Cementos Argos and Cisco Systems, that dominate an industry or a market through acquisitions; Player of Reputation , such as Natura, Johnson and Johnson and Bayer, which positioned themselves as reliable suppliers; Low cost, such as Ikea, Ryanair, which offer the cheapest prices with a quality comparable to that of the market; Experience provider , such as Lego and Starbucks that are strong in creating experiences and are viable in all price segments; among other ways such as being a multi-platform Provider, Solver, Risk Absorber, Challenger, Follower or Niche Specialist, among others.
Create an offer of products and services with focus and value: part of the hypothesis that to conquer a market you have to earn a place and be the best doing what really matters to customers. Therefore, products and services must reveal strategy and demonstrate capabilities. The portfolio must be aligned with the strategy and not the other way around. For this reason, the Megas are increasingly relevant to the vision, because they allow defining a clear objective and measuring the strategy based on the generation of income.
And after the strategy what?
Make decisions based on challenges: make acquisitions, modify the portfolio, divest, integrate production units, etc.
Align costs and investments: make budgets with a zero base, not with a rear view mirror. Cut expenses where it is due and invest in the new challenges: people who support the challenges, development of potentials, technology, process improvements as planned.
Unify the culture: The people and atmosphere in the halls of the company must reflect the strategy. For that to happen, you must have where you are going, why, with what tools, with what challenges per position and evaluate and make decisions on those definitions.
Refocus talent: Hire and train people to power new processes.
So you have to forget about the mission and vision?
Not necessarily, but the important thing is not to define the statement to realize that it is not achievable, but to do it the other way around, what do I know how to do well and like nobody else, what opportunities does that quality give me in the market, how am I going to play, how am I going to market and show my value to clients and what challenges do I impose on myself in the face of the new challenge.