Home > Business and Strategy > Faster, Bigger, Better – The America’s Cup and the Problem with Strategy

Faster, Bigger, Better – The America’s Cup and the Problem with Strategy

The race to be the best has seemingly resulted in a human tragedy. Is there a limit, or should there be, in the quest to be the best? I sometimes have clients with a concern about their strategic thinking and planning – a concern that working on a strategy means they have to grow and take over the market. Can you have a strategy to stay the same, they sometimes ask?

In the business world, Governments tend not to like companies that ultimately achieve this quest to be the biggest and best – they are called monopolies and Governments in this part of the world are keen to legislate to stop them from completely destroying their competition. Competition is considered healthy in democracies. And yet, much of the published information about strategy is exactly that – a quest to dominate your niche or market ie become the monopoly.

There’s another problem with the endless quest to be faster, bigger, better – exhaustion. Exhaustion of the people in the business. Exhaustion of the environment as more and more resources are used. Exhaustion of customers continually facing changes to products and services – albeit improvements.

So back to the question about whether strategy can be developed to retain size rather than grow. Firstly we need to understand what strategy is. Strategy is the unique element or mix of elements that give your business or organization a competitive advantage. If you do not have a competitive advantage, you are likely to be forced into a spiral (downward) of simply competing on price. That is the toughest way to have to compete and survive.

Once you understand the niche or market you are in and have established your competitive advantage, it’s then time to decide what your long term goals are. For some of my clients, it is to maintain the same organizational size. It is the discretion of the business owner as to the long term vision and goals. Staying a similar size is perfectly valid, and if your competitive advantage succeeds in making you the most desirable provider in your niche, there are ways to alter price and supply, and to utilise technology to manage growth the way you want to.

Strategic thinking and planning is essential no matter what your growth plans. The human quest to be faster, bigger and better has risks attached and yet it is this competitive drive that develops many of the innovations we value. Ultimately we have to find some way to decide what the limits are and where the risks are too great – to human life and our planet.

Jenni offers a free report ‘How to be a Strategic Thinker’ at her website http://www.strategies-direct.com

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Categories: Business and Strategy
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