What Is Strategy and Why Is It Important?
Chapter 1 of
Crafting and Executing Strategy: Concepts and Readings
By Arthur Thompson and A. J. Strickland III and John Gamble
Copyright: 2016, Mcgraw Hill
Publication Date: January 19, 2015
The tasks of crafting and executing company strategies important for a business enterprise to win in the marketplace by getting an economic market share and produce and deliver the goods or services demanded at profit to the organization.
A company's strategy is the plan management is using to identify a favorable market position, conduct its operations, attract and please customers, compete successfully, and achieve the desired performance targets.
The central thrust of a company's strategy is undertaking marketing and operations moves to build and strengthen the company's long-term competitive position and financial performance by undertaking value chain activities differently from rivals so that customers are attracted to its offerings and thus provide a sustainable competitive advantage over competitors.
A company achieves a sustainable competitive advantage when it can meet customer needs more effectively or efficiently (at lower cost and price) than rivals and when the basis for this is durable, despite the best efforts of competitors to match or surpass this advantage.
A company's strategy typically evolves over time, emerging from a blend of (1) proactive and deliberate actions on the part of company managers to improve the strategy and (2) reactive, as-needed adaptive responses to unanticipated developments and actions by customers and competitors.
A company's business model is management's estimate of revenues and costs that indicates profit. It contains two crucial elements: (1) the customer value proposition —a plan for satisfying customer wants and needs at a price customers will consider good value, and (2) the profit formula —a plan for a cost structure that will enable the company to deliver the customer value proposition profitably. In effect, a company's business model sets forth the economic logic for making money in a particular business, given the company's current strategy. Both demand estimates and cost estimates have to satisfy the theories of economics in the area of consumer or business demand and production/productivity economics.
A winning strategy will pass three tests: (1) Fit (external, internal, and dynamic consistency - It satisfies all stakeholders and all constraints of the company resources and market demand), (2) Competitive Advantage (durable competitive advantage), and (3) Performance (outstanding financial and market performance).
Crafting and executing strategy are core management functions of top management of a company. How well a company performs and the degree of market success it enjoys are directly attributable to the caliber of its strategy and the strategy is execution of the strategy. Strategy is a plan and is the primary step of top management. Execution phase consists of the next four steps of management organizing, resourcing, execution (allocation or resources, directing and leadership) and control.