Let’s start with a couple of definitions before we get into the meat of this article: Anti-Strategy: Conscientious employees trying to do the right things without the guiding principles of a clear strategy.
Market Effectiveness: Those functions and processes that translate strategy into products and demand creation.
Earlier Group50 articles on Anti-Strategy discuss its impact in other parts of the organization. You can access those articles here to catch-up. Oftentimes Anti-Strategy results from external pressures causing short-term tactics to supersede long- term strategies. Some examples might include:
- A company trying to keep up with explosive growth, its only plan being “fill orders and add capacity as quickly as possible.”
- Given the recent economic downturn and intensifying global competition, many companies and their employees strive simply to “survive the day”.
- Failing to revise sales approaches and product roadmaps despite recent dramatic market changes because “that is what we have in the plan or the budget.”
The preceding are examples of no strategy at all. Do any of the following examples of Market Effectiveness Anti-Strategy sound familiar?
- A company commits to “launching a large number of new products” while their targeted customers push to prune lines and dramatically reduce inventories.
- A salesperson diligently chases a “big opportunity” that his company will never be able to support profitably or will not increase sales.
- A pricing manager doggedly quotes at extremely high margins in a new category with explosive growth potential and many potential competitors.
- A product manager with a 90% market share in a mature category feverishly and futilely tries to “grow the business” instead of harvesting it to fund other growth opportunities in the company.
- A product engineer spends most of her time and extensive resources designing new products for a category reliant upon technology that will soon be obsolete.
- A product development leader believes that what works in the US must work in Europe.
Every company we have worked with suffers from Anti-Strategy to some extent. Frequently it is because strategy isn’t used as the basis for setting company, functional and individual objectives and using these as a common platform for a healthy culture. A company’s Market Effectiveness is driven by the relationship among its business strategies, product development and demand creation as portrayed below.
It is critical to have a strategy that is grounded in market and company reality, is current, and is well understood throughout an organization. Such strategy needs to be the product of the company’s senior leaders working together and parts of the greater organization collaborating to craft related plans. Group50 has the tools, experience and know-how to review your company’s strategy and help ensure that it delivers needed results going forward. Consider Group50’s Market Effectiveness Assessment as a step in gauging how well your company’s sales-oriented activities mesh with its strategy.
About the author:
Steve Sharp is a senior consultant with Group50®Consulting and heads Group50’s Market Effectiveness™ practice. Steve and the Group50 team are all former executives with market-leading manufacturing and distribution companies, professional managers who know how to install and sustain best management practices. Group50 has designed a series of strategic assessments, workshopsand Strategic Execution tools that enhance business performance. Call us at (909) 949-9083 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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