A NEW VIEW OF STRATEGY
DEVELOPING NERVES OF STEEL (RATHER THAN KEEPING YOUR NERVE) - MANAGING AMBIGUITY, ADVERSITY AND CHANGE IN AN INCREASINGLY TURBULENT MARKETPLACE AND ENVIRONMENT
Strategic thinking is applied to current resource constraints to obtain better resource leverage for tomorrow's environment.
Potential leadership from better core competence requires to be in place before product leadership or service portfolio superiority is obtained. It is therefore the interacting and overlapping spheres of:
1 Competence Portfolio
2 Business Portfolio
3 Product/Service Portfolio
that produce an "holistic" strategy.
In this way an organisation may be perceived as a portfolio of competencies prompting the continuing question "given what we have in our competence portfolio, what opportunities are we best able to explore and exploit."
The development of a strategic architecture that takes into account competing and overlapping coalitions that require to be collaborative and focused on opportunities for the future.
The strategic architecture becomes a high level framework for a new range of skills and competencies (or the representation of existing competencies) to establish a better relationship with the supply chain and the customer.
The strategic architecture also provides the facility to determine timescales and what needs to be immediately undertaken in order to align with the opportunities and capitalise upon them for the future.
Our strategic architecture approaches broad opportunities, timescales and priorities to do today. To have the competencies to see and seize a significant share of future business from an emerging opportunity or environment.
Without such an approach the enterprise may be presented with "sudden shock". With such an approach it is (usually) possible to accommodate adversity, ambiguity and change within the broad approach that the core competencies lead one to develop.
Isolating the essence of a company's current core competencies and producing a priority proportionate inventory is likely to clarify the organization's current success. It is also likely to highlight the collateral of the organisation:
* to signal paths to pursue for new business
* to recognise the reality of competition for core competencies and
* to provide the basis for actively managing what are your organization's most valuable resources.
A traditional competence/market matrix may then highlight not only the proportions of the enterprises collateral, but also what exists and what may be required in order to fit competencies to opportunities.
MANAGING THE CORE COMPETENCE MATRIX
1 Leveraging Long Term Loyalty
This poses the opportunity to determine what new core competencies must the company be building today to ensure that it is regarded as the first choice or preferred choice provider, by its customers in a longer term time horizon. Understanding what new competencies are required that will support and extend long term loyalty and your reputation with current customers.
Within this context it is important to consider what new competencies may replace or make obsolete those that currently used to satisfy the needs of existing customers. Gaining an understanding of these new competencies may prompt the consideration that one day present and more traditional skills basis will be rendered redundant.
2 Seizing New Opportunities
Opportunities in this quadrant of the matrix currently are outside your enterprise's current market position. Your strategic approach may be through a series of small collaborations or partnerships, rather than devoting too high a proportion of scarce core competence to seeking profitable pots of gold at the bottom of rainbows.
Bear in mind many organisations have a substantial amount of core competence but very little momentum, velocity or flexibility to redeploy those competencies into new and unconnected marketplace opportunities.
3 Extending the Relationship
Ask yourself where the opportunities are to broaden the relationship and join existing and accessible competencies to strengthen your relationship and position with existing clients in existing markets.
4 Successful Connections
The goal here is to imagine opportunities to extend existing core competencies into new product markets. It may simply mean that in your current organisation there is no accountability or responsibility for "successful connections" nor any incentive to find them. If, however, you commence with a core competence (rather than the product market perspective) and then effect a potentially "successful connection" by seeking the customer benefit from the new service or facility that will emerge from existing core competence.
To strategically determine and develop through a series of core competencies a "balanced portfolio" between:
1 Core Competencies
2 Business Portfolio
3 Product Service Portfolio
so that your enterprise truly anticipates and potentially fulfils customers requirements for tomorrow and in so doing, extends and substantiates client lifetime loyalty.
MANAGING THE CORE COMPETENCE MATRIX
Introducing core competencies should not diminish the product/service/market perspective. Rather it should precede it and complement it.
Rather than add "up stream" a new additional procedure into your organisation, it is preferable to develop it as an attitude of mind in the heads and thoughts of identifiers, interpreters and implementers of change who will permeate through every part of your organisation.
This is likely to lead to:
1 Higher levels of proprietorial ownership and involvement in identifying core competencies.
2 Promoting and providing the strategic architecture and determining competence roles across a larger proportion of your current team.
3 Defining a clear set of missions, objectives and goals, as well as priorities for current activity for future benefit.
4 Establishing clear accountabilities and responsibilities amongst individuals and teams for the core competence roles.
5 Periodically auditing your competence building activities against competitors.
6 Reviewing the status position of existing and developing core competencies.
7 Ensuring that there is a clear and understood technique and process for loading resources to critical core competencies.
8 There is "the way we do things around here" mentality through a community of the company who view themselves as the champions of corporate core competence.
This is likely to lead to an increased emphasis on:
a) contribution culture and shared enterprise mentality
b) a sense of proprietorial ownership and measure of contribution
c) the establishment of: [individual roles - functional specialism] and [collaborative roles - team contribution] and [corporate roles - for the greater good of the enterprise] rather than a more task oriented job description.
d) it's likely to develop a unity of purpose and an economy of effort to move further faster safe in the knowledge, it's in the right general direction!