Probably this quote is not the most obvious definition of the term strategy, at least not at first glance. But how useful is the best strategy if it ends up in a “Red Ocean”, where many competitors are already fighting for their market share, mostly only driven by price? The better strategy is surely to differentiate and to find or develop a “Blue Ocean”. A new market or a market niche in which new demand can be generated and in which competitors are still irrelevant.
“Only the paranoid survive”
Andy Grove, who made Intel Corporation what it is still today and who was its CEO from 1987 until 1998, talks in his book “Only the Paranoid Survive” about the “Strategic Inflection Point” that every company will always reach at some point in time. Also at this point, it is necessary to develop a new strategy and reposition itself. This very often involves major change and transformation processes that the management team has to develop and get through together with their teams and employees. But the change in this case is a positive one and should be seen as a motivation, because it is driven by a new innovative strategy. Only those companies which reinvent themselves again and again at these strategic inflection points will also be successful in the long term.
Whether you are a startup developing its first big strategy or an established company looking to reposition itself, it always comes back to the same questions:
What is our vision, where do we want to be in 10 years from now?
What do we want to achieve in the medium term, in the next 2-3 years?
What do we need to implement in the next 12 months?
How do we ensure that we are still on track?
Do we have the right leadership team to achieve our goals?
Is our organization set up correctly?
How do we take the entire team along for this ride?
Which change and transformation processes do we need to prepare and go through?
Strategic planning should not become a “monster”!
It is very important to ensure that strategic planning does not become a bureaucratic monster that keeps employees from actually implementing the strategy. How useful is the best planning process if in the end it only remains self-pupose and great theory? Methods such as OKR, for example, are very good planning tools, but they also carry the risk that you only revolve around yourself and lose sight of the actual goal.
I would be glad to support you with the development and implementation of your new strategy.