Sunday, February 17, 2013

Strategy? Gut or Intuition?

Strategy? Gut or Intuition?

Saeed Al Muntafiq
Mentor at Rise

An old Friend and mentor of mine once told me, when storming the castle, 
follow these rules:

• Make sure it's at night. The darkness provides an element of surprise but 
more importantly, it allows you to be stealth.

• Make sure you take out the snipers on the top of the castle. That way you
won't get attacked from the top.

• Make sure you don't try to attack. Commit to attack and capture. It's do or die.

I have followed this without question but over the years I have added a few of my own thumb rules. But let me start at the beginning.
And the beginning of all success is strategy.

What exactly is strategy?
Simply put, a business strategy is a set of guiding principles that, when communicated and adopted in the organization, generates a desired pattern
of decision making.

A strategy is therefore about how people throughout the organization should make decisions and allocate resources in order to accomplish key 
objectives. A good strategy provides a clear roadmap, consisting of a set of guiding principles or rules, that define the actions people in the 
business should take (and not take) and the things they should prioritize (and not prioritize) to achieve desired goals.

Michael Porter argues that operational effectiveness, although necessary to superior performance, is not sufficient, because its techniques are easy to
imitate. In contrast, the essence of strategy is choosing a unique and valuable position rooted in systems of activities that are much more 
difficult to match.

Porter's seminal theory has been so insightful that no one has thought of challenging or changing it since 1996.
But times are changing and more importantly organizations are changing and with them so are business practices.
I firmly believe that strategy is not only about business. It should be used in everyone's day to day life. Look around you and you will see how
extensively it is used in other walks of life: politics, military, negotiations,
So if you want to learn the process of putting a strategy together. STOP READING THIS ARTICLE. Get on line type strategy process and you will get 
more than 100 sites to learn from
But if you want to learn something different then here we go.
I am here to tell you about Intuition.
The problem lies not in what strategists are trained to do: Porter's perspective is powerful—so powerful that it has dominated both the 
teaching and the practice of business strategy for 30 years.

The problem lies instead in what strategic leaders are not trained to do. In caricature, Porter's view casts strategists as practitioner economists 
who expertly analyse and manage market forces. I suggest that strategic leaders must also be practitioner psychologists who expertly analyse and 
manage their own and others' thought processes.

Executives should trust their gut instincts and be masters of "theatre". If you want to convince a group of influential people or peers about a new
plan, or a program or an initiative that you want to implement, take out the snipers first. Identify the most influential, take them out for a coffee, bounce the idea and to a large extent try and make him or her believe that the idea is his.

When you are presenting a new idea, be stealthy about it. Don't spend an hour or more talking about it. Float the idea and sit back. There's a
reason you have two ears and one mouth. Listen more than you speak.
Throw the seed, let the team water it. Similar in many ways to the way we manage change. Whether it is the passing of a near one or a new idea in an organization. We don't use strategy for change management in organizations: it's never about process, it's about
A strategic person needs the ability to be intuitive. Develop your third eye, your sixth sense. Everyone is born with it, very few develop it. No text book or professor will teach you this, but it is the most important lesson of all.

Train yourself to anticipate before it happens. Much like F1 drivers. At 200 mph the driver has to literally divine and 
foresee and then counteract. He has no time at all to wait for a move and then decide what to do. That lapse will likely kill him. So he cultivates
and disciplines himself to react before the act. Should he under steer, or over steer? Should he head for a pit stop on lap 12 or wait till the lead
car goes in to refuel? Split second decisions that can alter fate and make or break a champion. And although he has all the sci fi gadgets he needs to
help him take the call. At the end it comes down to his instinct.

So here's the lesson.
Use your gut if you want the glory.

Edited by: Lawyer Asad

No comments: