Where we're going to go in this post is to discuss each of the 3 elements of successful strategy execution in detail individually, but also recognize that they're mutually reinforcing. They are not necessarily done sequentially but in fact, support one another and are done iteratively and support each other over time. So when one thinks of strategic analysis, one wants to think about analyzing a strategy, doing the work to try to figure out and conceive of a strategy. Formulation refers to the process by which strategy is set in the organization. Maybe it's a strategic planning process done on an annual or biannual level, but it also refers to the organizational elements that bring together to devise the strategy. Finally, implementation refers to once we have envisioned our strategy, how do we actually bring it to bear. Again, strategy execution requires proper analysis, proper formulation, and ultimately, proper implementation.
Being an effective leader is about two core tasks: making decisions to address threats and opportunities, and implementing those decisions. Implementing decisions is about the willingness of the targets of implementation to exert effort. It is not enough for the targets of implementation to know what to do (information) – they also have to want to do it (motivation).
Decision analysis provides individuals a systematic approach to making decisions. Unfortunately, no one knows everything and individual decisions are often biased by a decision-maker’s unique perspective. Inclusiveness – inviting others to help make a decision – should result in better decisions than any individual alone could make. Using a group of decision makers to make a decision should improve decision making quality because (1) more decision makers means more information, so decisions made by groups rather than individuals should be more informed decisions, and (2) more decision makers means more perspectives, so decisions made by groups rather than individuals should be less biased by any one individual’s unique perspective.
In this blog post, we're going to be talking about decision making. The central challenge in making good decisions is that we have to make decisions under uncertainty. The way we manage uncertainty leads us to make decisions in ways that are biased and not necessarily fully rational. So here we're going to talk about the biases that are triggered by making decisions under uncertainty and how to overcome those biases to make sound decisions.
The challenge of leadership is that we live in a “fast” business world. That means things happen quickly in an organization’s environment, and in order to survive, leaders have to get their organizations to react equally quickly – and effectively – when those things happen. That ability to react quickly is called agility, and the best leaders use their leadership skills to make their organizations agile.
Well strategy, as you may well know, is one of those glamorous business words. Strategy is something that business managers spend a whole lot of time thinking about and talking about. It's something you may need to prove that you can do well before you get promoted beyond a certain level in an organization. And if you've got your own company, strategy may be the thing that determines whether you fail or succeed. So business strategy, I think we all agree, is quite important.
But then it brings us back to a fundamental question. What is strategy exactly?
At Coursetake, our mission is to ensure that every student and professional gets his or her dream job. We do that through company and position specific interview preparation material.
It's unfortunate that most interview preparation material available is "extremely generic" in nature. Yes, they will teach you how to ace your interview, but they will NOT teach you how to ace your interview at company X for position Y.
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In this chapter, I’m going to put together a complete framework for you to start thinking about your career aka your career plan.
But I’d like to take you through a slight detour first.
Imagine for a moment that you an organization. The main goal of an organization is to make a profit. To make a profit and grow your business, you would probably want to put together a strategy in place. This strategy would include defining your vision as a company, defining your mission as a company, your values, understanding the market and customers that you want to go after, understanding the environment that you operate it, understanding your competition and much more.
You, like other companies would do something known as the “Strategic Planning” process, where they answer 3 high level questions:
- Where are you now as a company?
- Where do you want to be?
- How will you get there?
Most students and professionals don’t think of their careers in terms of a blueprint. Instead they equate careers to “having a good job”. Yes, your job is part of your career, but it not the only part of your career. Instead, I’d like to present in this chapter an alternative definition of thinking about your career. I’d like to present to you “ACCELERATE – The 5 x 3 Dream Career Blueprint” that consists of five core steps and three acceleration steps. In this chapter, we will cover the five core steps and then in chapter 2 we will discuss how to accelerate your results three times using three acceleration steps.
The five core steps are all jotting down your long-term goals and putting a plan in place to achieve them. It is also about smaller plans to execute and achieve your long-term goals. But just applying the five core steps are not enough. To truly accelerate your career, there are three additional steps that need to be applied consistently. Applying these three steps consistently through the process will ensure that you see absolute acceleration of your results.