I recently read A.G. Lafley’s excellent new book on strategy: Playing to Win (I highly recommend it). A.G. is the CEO of Procter & Gamble and definitely knows a thing or two… or three… about setting corporate strategy. At the most simplistic level A.G. points out that strategy boils down to just five key questions (info in parentheses added by me):
(1) What is your winning aspiration? (Sort of like a BHAG)
(2) Where will you play? (What industries, niches, target markets, locations, countries…)
(3) How will you win? (What is your valued differentiator)
(4) What capabilities must be in place? (What resources, capital, people, partnerships are required)
(5) What management systems are required? (How will you structure your business – what is your unique business model)
But A.G. and his co-author Roger L. Martin also focus on an idea that is near and dear to my heart… EXECUTION!!! As I have said 10,000 times before, even the most impressive strategy in the world is useless if it is not effectively executed. To me, it is just as important to spend equal time on a creating a focused and clear “Strategic Execution Plan” so that you can make sure you have the ability to turn your really cool ideas… into successful and profitable action in the marketplace!
Please take a moment to watch the brief video interview with A.G. below, I think you will find it of value.