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Currently viewing the tag: "business strategy"

Chessboard2Strategy and execution are the 2 critical elements that drive a business.  However, leaders often struggle even with defining—let alone devising and executing—an effective strategy.  Many of those who are responsible to deal with it fall short of describing how they typically employ it.  This failure takes its roots from the fact that there is no clear path associated with strategy.

Strategy is about making sound decisions about unforeseen problems.  It’s about selecting the right options—about matters that are often quite ambiguous today but have great significance in the future—based on thorough contemplation, detailed analysis, and creative ideas.  Broadly speaking, strategy encompasses these 3 main elements:

  • A vision and direction
  • A certain position or pattern
  • A deliberated Strategic Plan to achieve strategic goals and vision

Great strategists execute their plans, analyze the results, evaluate their actions, and perform course correction based on the outcomes.  They are not afraid of even revamping their approach entirely.  Senior leaders should clarify their understanding of the concept of strategy and draw attention to the importance of differentiating between the 3 distinct types of strategies before formulating their own course of action:

  1. General Strategy
  2. Corporate Strategy
  3. Competitive Strategy

Let’s delve deeper into the 3 types of strategy.

General Strategy

General Strategy indicates how a specific objective will be achieved, with well-thought-out plans.  The focus of this type of Strategy is on ends (objectives and results) and means (the resources we have to achieve the objectives).  Strategy and tactics combined bridge the gap between ends and means; where Strategy deals with deploying the resources at our disposal while tactics govern their utilization.  A pattern of decisions and actions marks progress from the starting point to achievement of objectives in General Strategy.

Senior executives need to deliberate on the following questions before devising their General Strategy:

  • What do we do?
  • Why are we here?
  • What kind of business are we?
  • What kind of business do we want to become?
  • What is our purpose? What are the results we seek?
  • What is our existing Strategy, is it explicit or tacit?
  • What Strategy and plans may bring about the results we want?
  • What resources we have at our disposal?
  • Are there any constraints in terms of resources that limit our actions?

Corporate Strategy

Corporate Strategy describes what a company does, the purpose of its existence, and what it aims to become.  Corporate Strategy focuses on choices and commitments concerning the markets, business, and the organization.  Corporate Strategy classifies the markets and the businesses in which a company will operate.  This type of strategy is typically decided in the context of defining the company’s mission and vision.

A detailed assessment of the existing strategy, market, competition and environment is critical for devising the Corporate Strategy.  Strategists indicate that there are critical elements that should be factored in while formulating Corporate Strategy.  These elements include product or service offerings, resources, marketing and sales approaches, manufacturing capabilities / capacity, customers, distribution channels, technology, type of market and its requirements, and revenue and profit goals.

While formulating Corporate Strategy, senior executives should consider and seek answers to the following questions:

  • What is our existing Corporate Strategy?
  • Is our Corporate Strategy explicit or tacit?
  • What are the critical assumptions that make our existing strategy viable?
  • What is going on in the market—in terms of social, political, technical and financial environment?
  • What do we seek to accomplish in terms of our growth, size, and profitability targets?
  • What markets we are eyeing to compete in?
  • What businesses we intend to operate in?
  • What locations and geographies will we compete in?

Competitive Strategy

Competitive or Business Strategy specifies for an enterprise the core reason on which it contests its rivals.  It depends on an organization’s competences, advantages, and disadvantages compared to the market and the rivals.

Interested in learning more about the General, Corporate, and Competitive Strategies? You can download an editable PowerPoint on The 3 Distinctions of Strategy here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a Management Consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

Change1

Transformation from a product-based model to a platform model is a dream for many executives.  More and more product companies are now shifting into a platform model.  The drive behind such a shift is the huge success of platform companies—e.g., Amazon, Google, and Apple.  These organizations started out as a retailer, search engine, and iPod manufacturer respectively, but later transformed into platform models.

However, bringing this transformative vision into reality is anything but straightforward.  Research into successful platform businesses reveals that this necessitates a robust approach comprising the following 4 critical phases:

  1. Attractive Product and Customer Base
  2. Hybrid Business Model
  3. Rapid Conversion
  4. Identify and Seize Opportunities

Let’s dive deeper into the first two phases of the approach, for now.

Attractive Product and Customer Base

A platform model is not a remedy to resuscitate products that are on a downward slide.  It necessitates an attractive product that offers a significant customer base and value to help improve customer loyalty and resist rival offerings.  The critical mass of customers also allows the platform company to create value for—and attract—third parties that are crucial for the platform to flourish.

Qihoo 360 Technology, a large internet firm in China, commenced its operations in 2006 by selling an antivirus software, 360 Safe Guard.  To build a broad user base and to gather customers’ feedback on improving the product, the company started giving away the product free.  The company maintained a list of malware as well as a “whitelist” of programs that were safe for the users.  The critical mass of customers allowed Qihoo to:

  • Quickly identify viruses on scanning computers
  • Improve the antivirus
  • Introduce new products
  • Attract new customers
  • Create new platforms
  • Attract 3rd-party software companies to make Qihoo a channel for reaching customers.

Hybrid Business Model

The notion that an organization has to embrace either a product-based or a platform-based business model is far from reality.  Although, both the product-based and platform-based business models need a framework to assign dedicated resources and manage operations, however, Business Transformation from a product-based model to a platform-based model gets simplified utilizing a hybrid approach.  A product-based business model calls for organizations to have differentiated products catering to customers’ needs, to create value.  Whereas, a platform-based business model creates value by linking users to 3rd parties and charging fees for using the platform.  The focus of Platform models is on:

  • Inspiring mass-market acceptance
  • Increasing the number of interactions rather than meeting specific customer needs
  • Connecting users and 3rd parties to create competitive edge instead of relying solely on product differentiation (product model).

For example, Apple converted itself from a product model to a platform model within a year after the launch of the first iPhone.  Initially, Apple reacted defensively to any hacking attempts and precluded 3rd party apps on the iPhone, but then decided to create an open platform, and launched the App Store.  The hybrid model and platform mindset created additional income streams and significant revenue for Apple.

Rapid Conversion

To make a product and business model profitable, the conversion of product users into platform users is of utmost importance.  To enable this, an organization needs to develop its platform in such a way that it should present enough additional value for the customers to adopt it and become its users.  Three key elements are critical to accomplish this:

  • Deliver adequate value
  • Launch connected products consistent with the brand
  • Allow 3rd parties to perform upgrades

If the platform does not offer adequate value for the customers they are not going to embrace it the way they do to a great product.  Similarly, addition of new offerings that are coherent with the brand has a strong correlation with new platform adoption.  New offerings gain traction from a firm’s image and strengthen the brand further.  Likewise, allowing 3rd parties to make upgrades, improve product offerings, and develop the platform further helps in rapid conversion, additional revenue, and growth.

Interested in learning more about the phases of the approach to Products-to-Platforms Transformation?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Products to Platforms Transformation here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a Management Consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

In a recent update to Flevy, the documents marketplace has allowed select contributors to offer complimentary documents.  However, it takes some digging to find these free offers.  Here, we present 5:

Introduction to Strategy
https://flevy.com/download/introduction-to-strategy-74
What is Strategy? This 20-slide presentation provides an introduction to strategy, separating out the concepts of Corporate Strategy vs. Business (Unit) Strategy.

Introduction to Operational Excellence
https://flevy.com/download/introduction-to-operational-excellence-38
This 48-slide presentation provides a high-level introduction to Operational Excellence. It explains the four building blocks: Strategy Deployment, Performance Management, Process Excellence, and High Performance Work Teams.

A Practical Framework Approach to Change
https://flevy.com/download/a-practical-framework-approach-to-change-65
This presentation presents a flavour of some of the more necessary change components and associated tools & techniques that will require consideration during any change initiative.

Lean Thinking 101
https://flevy.com/download/lean-thinking-101-10
This 32-page presentation that explains the Lean management philosophy, based on the Toyota Production System (TPS).

Delta Model Primer
https://flevy.com/download/delta-model-primer-77
The Delta Model is a growth strategy framework developed by MIT/Sloan professors to help managers in the articulation and implementation of effective corporate and business strategies.

Over the past couple weeks, a ton of new business frameworks, covering topics from the 5S framework to Kaizen principles to benchmarking, have been added to Flevy.  Flevy is a marketplace of premium business documents, which include business frameworks, financial models, PowerPoint templates, market research reports, and other similar documents.

This presentation deck covers the benefits of benchmarking, various types of benchmarking, identifying what to benchmark, and provides a detailed step by step guidance on how to systematically carry out a benchmarking project based on the world-renown Xerox benchmarking model. It also includes useful tips on benchmarking, benchmarking etiquettes and the critical success factors.

Hoshin Kanri ( Policy Deployment or Hoshin Planning) is a powerful, systematic Strategic Planning methodology that uses a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle to create goals, choose control measures and link daily control activities to the company’s strategy.

In this training presentation, you will be able to teach employees on the structured Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) approach to problem solving. Many world class companies such as Toyota uses the PDCA problem solving process for relentless pursuit of continuous improvement.

“Lean” is a management philosophy based on the Toyota Production System (TPS). With Lean Thinking, you will be able to enhance value for your customers by improving and smoothing the process flow and eliminating waste. Simply put, with Lean, you will be able to increase productivity and create greater customer value with less resources.

Strategic principles allow organizations to make decentralized decisions while maintaining cohesive strategic action. This document explains the strategic principle framework, including examples, defining attributes, relevant crucial situations, and an approach to strategic principle development.

Six Sigma provides a rigorous and structured approach to help organizations improve their performance in meeting their customers’ requirements. This training presentation introduces you to the Six Sigma philosophy, methodology and tools and the infrastructure for successful Six Sigma deployment without too much of statistical jargon.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) maximizes the effectiveness of equipment. This presentation on Total Productive Maintenance combines the TPM tools, 5S, OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), 8 pillars, Autonomous and Planned maintenance into a highly detailed training tool. This PowerPoint includes a step-by-step implementation process of TPM.

Every organization depends on customer service. When you equip your frontline staff with the skills to create a quality experience for your customers, you enhance customer satisfaction and your organization’s image. In this customer service powerpoint, you teach your staff to manage emotions and deliver professional and personalized service.

This training presentation is specially designed for managers, supervisors, facilitators and continuous improvement steering committees who want to kick-start and implement Kaizen activities in their work areas to improve productivity and customer value.

This training fits well into any improvement initiative, including TQM and Lean management. The COQ methodology instills a practical approach to quantifying the financial impact of the Cost Of Non-Conformance (CONC) and the Cost Of Conformance (COC).

Developing and presenting a business plan is something most of us will do at some point in our business life. If you are good at doing it you are more likely to be successful at raising finance.  This is an easy to follow guide that will give you the right attitude and approach to developing and presenting your business plan.

The 5S workplace organization system applies a set of basic management principles that many companies widely adopt to maximize productivity and organization. As a cornerstone of Lean management, 5S improves workplace morale, safety and efficiency.

This presentation provides a blueprint for building a Lean foundation for your office. You will learn how to mobilize and align your management team to launch or improve 5S in your office.  The presentation covers 5S and Visual Management key concepts, best practices, step-by-step implementation guidance, and the best ways to integrate 5S into the organization’s culture to achieve sustainable world-class excellence.

Most companies are yet to reach their full potential because Human Resources is yet to reach a strategic level of contribution. This PowerPoint presentation shows how to transform Human Resources from a staff function to a strategic business partnership.

This document outlines a 3-phase framework for conducting robust Strategic Analysis, based on a paper published by A. E. Boardman and A. R. Vining. The framework describes the major elements of a strategic analysis, and consists of a logically-sequenced, coherent skeleton of a comprehensive strategic analysis.

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a holistic approach to long-term success that views continuous improvement in all aspects of an organization as a process and not as a short-term goal. This training presentation includes quality philosophies from key quality leaders such as W. E. Deming, J. M. Juran and Philip Crosby, and provides a summary of process management, steps for TQM implementation, key tools and techniques for total quality as well as the key business excellence and quality management models.

No doubt, employees bestow many improvement ideas. If you don’t have a formal system to collect and evaluate the ideas, you will lose them. These ideas can save you money, grow your business, and affect your overall bottom line. This formal system details the phases of collecting, evaluating, implementing and rewarding good ideas.

This presentation explores the basics of social media and how to select the right social networks, social media branding, social media marketing, social media optimization, how to build and manage your following. This course has been taught at Rutgers University and numerous professional conferences around the country.

The ISO 9001 standard is increasingly being adopted by many organizations world-wide. Whether you are conducting an internal quality audit in your organization or preparing for an external audit, it is important that the auditing process is thorough, systematic and effective.

OHSAS 18001 is a global occupational health and safety management system which is adopted in thousands of companies all over the world, and many more are in the process of doing so. One of the reasons for its wide adoption is because it reduces work-related accidents and ill-health and costs associated with them.

ISO 14001 is a global environmental management system which is adopted by thousands of companies all over the world. The intent of ISO 14001 is to provide a framework for a holistic, strategic approach to an organization’s environmental policy, plans and actions.

Thousands of companies in over 100 countries have adopted ISO 9001 as their quality management standard. Many more are pursuing this certification. ISO 9001 helps your company assure quality, save money and customers expect it. ISO 9001 applies to all types of organizations.

This is a case study presentation on the value of global diversification.

Got quality business documents?  List them on Flevy.com to start earning yourself some passive income.
For more business strategy frameworks, check out these pages on LearnPPT:

For a limited time, Flevy is offering a FREE download of the Strategy Development Discussion Deck.  To download this document, just go here:

This is a discussion deck template for a corporate strategy development session. In this discussion, we go through a 2-prong approach to growth and evaluate the merits of various growth drivers. From the 2-prong approach, various scenarios can be generated in the discussions and dashboards are used to evaluate each scenario.

You can find more details about the product (listed at $30) here:
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Strategy-Development-Discussion-Deck-91

Flevy is a marketplace for business strategy frameworks, PowerPoint templates, financial models, business presentations, market research reports, and other premium business documents. Download documents to expedite your projects or upload documents to generate passive income.

Having a pre-built financial model for reference can save you countless days–if not weeks!–of work.  In this article, we’ve compiled an extensive list of financial models available on Flevy, the marketplace for premium business documents.


FEATURED MODEL

(World’s First!) Research Report-cum-Financial Model
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Research-Report-cum-Financial-Model-121
This is a impressive and innovative financial model developed by an independent financial research firm.  The first model that combines both a research report and financial model, this document contains a wealth of information about commodity futures exchanges as an industry, the regulatory environment in India, trading volumes, business model, strengths, financials and earnings estimates of MCX, and global peer financial highlights and valuations


VALUATION MODELS

Below, are 4 valuation models for various industries and firms.

Manufacturer Valuation Model
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Excel-Model-for-Manufacturing-Firm-120

Commercial Bank Valuation Model
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Excel-Model-for-Banking–119

LBO Models
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Sample-LBO-Model-Template-26
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Sample-LBO-Model-Template-2-27
(This second one also contains a blank LBO model template.)


MODELS USEFUL TO MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS

Consulting Ratios Calculator
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Consulting-Ratios-Calculator-77

Consulting Fee Setting Matrix
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Consultant-Fee-Setting-Matrix-9

Scatterplot Labeler Template
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Scatter-plot-Labeler-Template-8


TIME & EXPENSE TRACKING MODELS

Staff Demand and Shift Bidding
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Staff-Demand-and-Shift-Bidding-19

Working Hours Diary with Lunch
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Working-Hours-Diary-with-Lunch-112

Vacation Schedule/Tracker
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Vacation-Schedule-Tracker-116

Travel Expenses Diary
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Travel-Expenses-Diary-111

Labor Costs Diary
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Labor-Costs-Diary-106


OTHER FINANCIAL MODELS

Compounded Annual Stock Return Calculator
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Compounded-Annual-Stock-Return-Calculator-109

Supply Chain Program Comparison Model (Working Capital)
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Supply-Chain-Program-Comparison-Model-34

Cash Flow Projector
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/Cash-Flow-Projector-104

For even more financial models, you can peruse the Excel documents section of Flevy.   There are about 30 Excel models and spreadsheets currently on the marketplace (with more being added each week).

Last but not least, here are 2 of our best selling LearnPPT toolkits–both with financial models included in the package.

Business Case Development Toolkit
http://learnppt.com/powerpoint/58_Business-Case-Development-Toolkit-with-Excel-model.php

Pricing Strategy Toolkit
http://learnppt.com/powerpoint/65_Pricing-Strategy-Toolkit-with-Excel-Model.php

Questions, thoughts, concerns?  Go to my site (learnppt.com) and shoot me an email.

For pre-made PowerPoint diagrams used in business presentations and other powerpointing needs, browse our library here: learnppt.com/powerpoint/.  These diagrams were professionally designed by management consultants. Give your presentations the look and feel of a final product made by McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Booz Allen, Deloitte, or any of the top consulting firms.

For the past 2 years, LearnPPT has been creating and selling quality business documents. These ranged from Business Frameworks to PowerPoint Templates. It has proven to be a successful business model — as there is a tangible demand for these products. We’ve had customers from small businesses to Fortune 50 companies to non-profits in over 45 countries.

Now, you, too, can sell your business documents. Check out the latest venture we’ve been collaborating on –

www.Flevy.com

FlevyFlevy is a marketplace for selling business documents. We are in pre-launch and actively inviting business professionals like yourself.

Think about all the tools you have created to make your job easier. List them on Flevy. We will do the marketing, we will drive the sales. There’s no reason to let your IP collect dust when it can be making you perpetual income.

Registration just opened up a couple days ago!

Here is a compilation of the free PowerPoint documents we’ve made available through the course of 2011.

Holiday Gift PowerPoint Toolkit
http://learnppt.com/downloads/holiday-gift/
Here is a collection of 20+ PowerPoint diagrams, templates, and charts, originally created as a holiday gift to LearnPPT’s newsletter subscribers.

Process Optimization Presentation
http://learnppt.com/downloads/process-optimization/
This is a process optimization presentation.  It is the accompanying download for this PowerPoint tutorial:
http://powerpointing-templates.com/2011/10/slide-from-scratch-process-optimization-presentation/

Business Strategy Update Presentation
http://learnppt.com/downloads/strategy-update/
This is a presentation showing a business strategy update.  It is the accompanying download for this PowerPoint tutorial:
http://powerpointing-templates.com/2011/09/business-strategy-update-presentation/

Agenda and Transition Slide Template
http://learnppt.com/downloads/agenda-contents/
This is a simple, clean, table-based template used for creating the agenda slide and transition slides.

Cone Diagrams
http://learnppt.com/downloads/cone_diagrams/
This is a set of cone diagrams.  Creating a cone diagram yourself is simple, as illustrated by the accompanying tutorial:
http://powerpointing-templates.com/2011/06/powerpointing-how-to-create-a-cone-diagram/

Decision Tree Template
http://learnppt.com/downloads/decision-tree-powerpoint-template/
This is a fancy looking decision tree diagram/template.  It was created originally for a client slide that was scrapped.  You can modify it to include additional decision points and outcomes.

Diamond Diagram
http://learnppt.com/downloads/diamonds/
This is a set of diamond diagrams of various segments.  It is created using the built-in Radar charts, as illustrated in the accompanying tutorial:
http://powerpointing-templates.com/2011/02/powerpointing-how-to-create-a-diamond-diagram/

Want to add more free PowerPoints to your collection?  Check out our free PowerPoint downloads of 2010 (26 in all last year):
http://powerpointing-templates.com/2010/12/free-powerpoint-downloads-of-2010/

Thanks for reading our blog!

Questions, thoughts, concerns?  Go to my site (learnppt.com) and shoot me an email.

For pre-made PowerPoint diagrams used in business presentations and other powerpointing needs, browse our library here: learnppt.com/powerpoint/.  These diagrams were professionally designed by management consultants. Give your presentations the look and feel of a final product made by McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Booz Allen, Deloitte, or any of the top consulting firms.

Strategy in business is about winning and so, any successful business needs to have a well defined, executable strategy.  Unsurprisingly, from both sales trends and customer feedback, at learnppt.com, we have found ourselves adding more and more products around this topic of business strategy.

This weekend, I took the time to compile all of our toolkits and frameworks related to business and strategy.  Browse it here:
Business Strategy

Some of the topics discussed you will find include Growth Strategy, Marketing Strategy, and Management Strategy.

Our most recent PowerPoint in this domain teaches you how organizations can inject Creative Thinking into their Strategy Development processes:
Creative Thinking in Strategy Development
This document discusses the 3 enablers to creativity in strategy formulation:

  • Ensuring the right “conditions” are in place
  • Pushing the limits of conventional thinking
  • Leveraging the power of collaborative thinking

Got a request in PowerPoint product of blog post topic?  Leave a comment or shoot me an email.

Cheers!