Growth, Cost Containment, Innovation
Growth, cost containment and the need to be innovative to stay ahead of the competition are the
fundamental tensions between the three perspectives people bring to the discussion when they formulate
strategy, and they are often very assertive about these issues.
the best total return, usually Return on Investment (ROI) or Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) through
profitable growth, and they must concentrate on the firm's high margin customers. Typically, they
are folks who measure and report on performance: the CFO, Finance, Product Managers, Sales, Marketing.
These folks tend to direct work top down. Ultimately, the owner positions the firm for sustained profitability.
Adapters also seek growth but they are working
with customers daily and must respond to their needs, to improve the product or service and get
it to the customer before the competition. They must be innovative and tend to think bottom up
lobbying for change, which may not be focused on the most profitable choices. Innovation is hard
and expensive with many failures. Typically they are from Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, product
fulfillment. A fatal flaw, a trap to avoid, is where adapters are there to "fix the firm" rather than to improve core and carefully expand to provide the customer more benefits.
Aligners have to produce the work, provide
the service. They own the processes, want clear priorities, clear linkages
of all the activities performed, specific objectives, personal accountability and most of all,
time to do it right (effective) and smart (efficient). They own most of the budget. They see rapid,
unfocused change as expensive, wasteful and will resist ideas that are not practical and pragmatic.
They are the core of a firm's culture and its success.
The tensions are necessary, the core of the conversations from which strategy emerges, and as the
strategic planning consultant, I will the focus each group on common ground: customer benefits, sustainable, profitable
earnings and sharing assets. Secondly, I'll ensure the team has a robust set of options or approaches.
The website will provide detailed advice on the process and methods to guide those discussions.
Next, the concepts and language of strategy.