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Creating Strategic Advantage

Organizations, like individuals have innate potential due to the resources, strengths, experiences, history, and perspectives which are available. When this potential is properly identified, developed, and unleashed, one of the greatest assets of the organization is realized, strategic advantage. So if strategic advantage is so powerful, what exactly is it and how do I go about creating strategic advantage for my organization?

The first step in achieving strategic advantage is a clear understanding of strategy and what it should mean within an organization. Strategy, like vision, is an overused word in today’s buzz word environment. The term strategy has been diluted to mean we have placed some thought into how we are going to accomplish a particular project or area of our organization. For example, we hear of a marketing strategy, banking strategy, operations strategy, financial strategy, etc, but of limited organizational strategy.

The overall strategy should provide a holistic view of the organization required to properly “connect all of the dots” within an organization. The result is a clear understanding in which all stakeholders have a clear picture of the organizations identity and understand how they contribute to its success. When this is accomplished, the critical components of culture cultivation, operational excellence, customer focus, and a scoreboard for success can be properly aligned and integrated into an overall strategy, resulting in strategic advantage.

When an organization invests the time and resources in a comprehensive strategic planning process, the true potential of the organization can be unleashed to create strategic advantage. This process takes into consideration the organization’s vision, assets, history, strengths, and resources necessary to create a holistic plan, which can be executed to produce a competitive advantage in the marketplace. I once heard Dick Wynn state the reality of strategy deficiency, “A vision without a strategy and a plan for implementation is hallucination”. This sobering statement can be supported by most of us who have worked in organizations that had great vision and opportunity, but could never really “connect all of the dots” to realize this potential we call strategic advantage.

Many times, in order to create strategic advantage, an organization will use outside resources to work with the owner or CEO, since internal resources may be too close to the day-to-day operations to objectively identify and properly position the organization for success. In addition, using those within the organization reduces the level of vulnerability the owner can have with his/her support network, especially when dealing with sensitive issues. These outside resources can be part of a network of supporters who understand the vision of the organization, have complementary skills and experiences to the owner, and are committed to the process of supporting the owner or CEO. We refer to this network as a Comprehensive Support Network since no single person has all of the skills and knowledge necessary to be the visionary, strategists, and executor of the plan, but is necessary to provide a level of objectivity required to see and “connect all of the dots”. The old saying, “you can’t see the forest for the trees” definitely applies here. The owner may have the vision, competency, passion, and desire to build the organization, but could lack the complementary talents and time to bring the vision to fruition. The Comprehensive Support Network for the owner or CEO provides the support necessary to develop a comprehensive strategy which can be effectively executed, resulting in strategic advantage.

For a free consultation about how to achieve strategic advantage within your organization, contact Stravicom Global at, www.StravicomGlobal.com.