In an earlier blog I talked about it being time to refocus on Quality for the 21st Century and thanks to reader feedback have coined the term, TQM 2.0. There are three elements of this new focus on quality (the Three “Must”-keteers of Quality)
- Quality of Leadership
- Quality of Strategy
- Quality of Execution
Let’s give some thought to Quality of Strategy.
First of all, there is no perfect strategy. The search for the perfect strategy, and the price tag that goes with it, is a waste of time. Strategies are static but markets are dynamic and constantly changing so to search for a perfect strategy is not possible. The best might be a strategy that is flexible and responsive to external and internal shifts.
However, even though there is no perfect strategy, strategies can be perfected and the way to accomplish that is through an ongoing process of strategy evaluation with frequent reviews using honest assessments of the competitive landscape and honest assessments of your own company competitive capabilities. Think of this as a continuous scan of the external and internal environment. An early warning system.
But it seems that honest assessments are easier said than done, especially in companies with a “culture of non-honesty”. What I mean by this is a culture that does not value or display open, honest communications and transparency, but instead seeks to “present data in the best light” in order to look good with upper management. Does it happen? All the time. Why? If organizations are shadows of their leaders then we know where to look for the roots of a “non-honest culture”. Gamesmanship among the senior team and lack of alignment at the top are the usual culprits.
Second, quality of strategy is a function of both content and “buy-in”. Without buy-in (that is belief and commitment in the strategy) even the best of documents will have a difficult time being implemented. How to achieve buy-in? One way is to build the strategy yourself as opposed to outsourcing strategy development to an outside consulting firm. After all, who knows more about your market, your customers, your internal capabilities and your products than you?
Why not find a robust strategy development process and make it the job of your senior executives (supported by ideas and insights from the entire company) to develop the business strategy? The result would be a more realistic strategy with more buy-in and commitment than if you “bought” your strategy.
In many cases the quality of strategy lies in the commitment of your people and in organizational capabilities as much as in killer products or new market insights.
Tight Lines . . .
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