Attaining Sustainable Organizational Growth and Profitability
Generally, the term strategy refers to decision and choices about how - means by which - a given objective will be achieved. The term "strategy" is an overloaded word in everyday business conversations. Every company ( "for-profit" or "non-profit") has a strategy, but most people including professional practitioners do not bother to explicitly establish their point of view into what is essentially a layered concept when talking about strategy. This creates confusion in the shared understanding about a critical differentiator and a necessary element for long-term success of an organization.
Strategy as a Layered Concept
Strategy in a business organization is about how the organization seeks to survive and prosper within its environment over the long-term. Strategy provides an organization with an offensive device to compete against competitors and guides their actions when faced with a range of choices.
Strategy as a concept exists at three (3) levels in a strategy hierarchy - corporate strategy, business strategy and operations strategy - with horizontal relationship at each level to functional strategy which reinforces that level.
The three (3) levels of strategy hierarchy model are interrelated through a specific dual integration, built through a vertical orientation - top-down and bottom- up to create sustainable competitive advantage. The success of a strategy hierarchy is reinforced by functional strategy such as; marketing, finance, IT, HR, sales, etc., that appear simultaneously at all three levels of the strategy hierarchy.
Categories of Strategy
The concept of strategy is usually used in different ways, even though, traditionally, it has been defined in only one way. Explicit recognition of the multiple definitions corresponding to the different viewpoints can help people when developing strategies. The various viewpoints can be defined in terms of Mintzburg's 5Ps of strategy:
These viewpoints help in developing robust and successful strategy by highlighting problems that would undermine a strategy at implementation.
Decision makers or managers start with a given perspective, conclude that it calls for a certain position, and sets about achieving it by way of a carefully crafted plan. Over time things change; a pattern of decisions and actions marks movement from starting point to destination end-point (goal). This pattern of decisions and actions is called "realized pattern" or "emergent" strategy. The actual strategy of an organization is the combination of the executed parts of deliberate strategy and emergent strategy.
Roles of strategy in Business
Strategy plays a number/variety of roles in organization's success, including:
Strategy is a significant determinant on a company's success or failure, in addition to the significance of competence of its managerial leadership.
I am a computer scientist by education and training. My interests are in modeling complex business and social systems to foster better strategic and operations management processes in delivering value to customers while meeting the expectations of stakeholders.