Strategy Context - Best Strategy Starting Point - Where To Start

Best strategy starting point - strategy context - where to start in strategy?

What is the starting point? The starting point is fascinating because it will save you a lot of money and time if you pay attention to this one point.

So where are we now? Where we are now is often in a competitive strategy that our people look to collaborate and cooperate.

But here you are, competitive strategy by Porter. And it's 400 pages. And it looks at the tools of analysis and how to use the tools of analysis? And then, it goes into strategic options in the book's third section. It's a, you know, it's a great resource. It's a great resource and is on the bookshelves of everybody involved in strategy in all the major companies worldwide.

Okay. Now, in the introduction to this book on strategy, in the introduction, not the book, Porter outlines a traditional context within which to formulate a competitive strategy. There are five points in this diagram. In the bottom left-hand corner of this diagram, with equal weight to the others, is the Personal Values of the key implementers.

And to be honest, I was shocked when I reread the book and found this - and I thought, oh my God. Professor Porter knew about the personal values of the key implementers.

And I want to tell you why this is so important because this is a book - Competitive Strategy 400 pages long; that is the only mention that you're going to get of the personal values of the critical implementers and how to do it.

Now, why is that important? Well, I don't know about other people's experiences, but if you want to derail a strategy, then it will be around the personal values of the key implementers. So when you've got a board of directors or two or three people responsible for the business's strategy and implementation, you want to know their values.

Now, this is odd, by the way. Because many companies you go to, directors won't imagine for a moment that their personal values have anything to do with the outcome, right? They won't imagine for a moment that they've got anything to do with strategy development, and they'll be slightly embarrassed that they might have a personal point of view or some unique values that play into the equation.

So how important are personal values?

If you look at smaller startups, they drive the whole engine, but whether they are willing to talk about them, whether they are willing to make them explicit or not, and whether they want them to remain implicit is a challenging question.

 You're probably sick to the back of your neck about that. But the point is that that word contains the engine oil and the fuel for achieving your ambitions.

So there was a film called Lonesome Dove.

The leader of a business I was a partner with invited us to watch. This was a cowboy, a western - cows going across the prairie through all kinds of conditions and circumstances. Focused on the weather, the storms, the individual characters in their lives, and the type of things that cowboys get up to when driving herds across the prairie.

One of the characters in the film had a perfect relationship with his horse. They went through storms, trials and tribulations together.

Then one day, he was isolated on the prairie and was vulnerable to attack by Indian Warriors. Indian Warriors, yeah. Cowboys and Indians. And they looked like they'd got him. They were chasing him across this prairie. There was nowhere for him to go. No cover.

So what he did was he grounded his horse in one movement, stabbed it to death elegantly in the next movement, and used the body of the horse to defend, to defend himself. That horse had been a loyal friend and, in a moment - according to his values- he took the horse's life to save his own. I have been that horse, so I know what I'm talking about.

I have been working recently with a company where two partners try to kill the other in the most polite way possible. But make no mistake, only one of them will come out of the end of the tunnel. Only one of them will come out of the desert alive because they differ in their values. After all, there's a difference in their values, perhaps.

But certainly, there's a difference in the implementation, and they need the communication skill set to negotiate it.

So these great heroes can't even talk to each other.

So, Strategy context, where do you start? What is the starting point of building long-term values using a strategy? And the starting point is in the personal values of the critical people and the key implementers.

Did you hear that here first?

And if you bought this book several decades ago, you would've seen the words in the introduction, but nothing more to be said.

Get in touch.

Best wishes


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Time Stamps

00:00 Strategy Context

00:24 Competitive Strategy

04:34 Film Lonesome Dove

06:47 Two Partners

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