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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Don’t Confuse Strategy with Lofty Goals | HBR

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Strategy is identifying how to effectively describe choices and then explain why those decisions are taken.

A strategy is not goals, dreams, or wishful thinking. It is a series of hard-to-reverse decisions, and articulating what these choices are and why they were taken is what strategy communication should entail. A notable illustration is offered by the new approach established in reaction to the digital disruption of the early 2000s by DPG Media Group. Christian Van Thillo, the then CEO and now Chairman of the Group, held an event with his top 10 managers and editors to establish the company’s new strategy. It was vital for DPG Media to determine whether it wanted to continue in professional journalism or abandon the company altogether.

Since then, he always begins with this choice to explain why the organization exists and why it makes daily strategic decisions. DPG Media’s concentration on just two geographic areas, Belgium and the Netherlands was prompted by the necessity for scale. Additionally, the business chose to participate in acquisitions to reach critical size soon. Given their focus on quality journalism, their acquisition targets were media firms that depended more on subscriptions than advertising for their earnings. For their luxury brands, they targeted wealthy clients by providing ad-free content on a subscription basis, but for their mass-market brands, they opted for a freemium strategy that mainly depended on advertising income.

For a company to succeed, it must first make the tough decisions required by its strategy and then effectively communicate these decisions. The most significant error organizations make in decision-making is not missing one or two options; it is failing to make any decisions. A slight improvement in our strategy’s communication may significantly impact how our personnel executes our approach.

Source: https://hbr.org/2022/06/dont-confuse-strategy-with-lofty-goals

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