Applying Dynamic Strategy

Article excerpt

The grand strategy is your plan for achieving your missions, but your company's grand strategy must be understood as a dynamic strategy. It reflects beliefs that exist as of a certain point in time, but as these beliefs change, the strategy must change as well.

For example, your grand strategy may be based upon a belief that certain economic factors will be happening to your regional economy within a certain amount of time. This assumption may be critical to the strategic tactics you develop, such as building up inventory in anticipation of an improved economy boosting sales demand.

If your underlying assumption is incorrect and, in fact, the economy stays stable over that same period of time, your strategy needs to be changed. You have no ability to control or influence these external factors that underlie your strategy, but you can monitor them and adjust your grand strategy accordingly.

During the formation of your grand strategy you must also create different options that can be activated based upon these external conditions, such as the economy, that are out of your control.

Tracking these critical assumptions on an ongoing basis is very important if your grand strategy is built upon them.

Identify and track only the most important of these critical assumptions. From a practical standpoint you cannot track every single assumption but you must monitor the most critical.

An analysis of your company's "strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats" (SWOT) is an integral part of the grand strategy planning, and likewise is non-static, and must continue on a regular basis. Just as external factors will change, affecting your strategy (they can affect strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats!), so too can circumstances within your company bring about changes that alter your SWOT assessment. And, of course, your strategy must change accordingly.

Try to take time away from the day-to-day operations on a regular basis to ask yourself not only what are your organization's particular strengths and weaknesses, but also what the strengths and weaknesses of your competition are, and how can you use these to better compete and better differentiate your business.

This should be a major aspect of determining the direction in which your grand strategy moves you. You need to be able to put together a reasonable SWOT analysis of your competition as well as yourself, and keep it up to date. With this knowledge, you can adjust to your market as it really is. …