Creating the Ultimate Strategy

You’ve decided to create and implement a killer strategy. So where do you look for ideas?

There are hundreds of tried and true strategies out there. Some have taken companies from just marking time to the big time in no time. But which ones should you consider?

Why not consider all of them?

Too many companies won’t even consider strategies outside of their own industry. They start narrow and get narrower. The executive team for Widgetmakers Inc. starts their brainstorming session by saying, “Well, what are all the other widgetmakers doing?” An hour later, they’ve chosen the two or three most common strategies in their industry. Hardly a recipe for breakthrough results.

What they fail to realize is that successful strategies transcend business categories. Some of the strategies that work for Southwest Airlines may work the same magic for Amazon or Nordstrom or Domino’s Pizza. But how will you ever know if you look no further than your own specialized neck of the woods?

Start by listing the highest-performing companies you can think of regardless of industry, companies that have created powerful and sustainable results. List the strategies each company employs. For each strategy, ask yourself, “How are they accomplishing it?”

Don’t edit or second-guess yourself along the way! Don’t eliminate strategies because you’re selling financial services and they’re selling pizzas. Keep going until you have at least fifty killer strategies on the list.

Once you have a list of fifty, define your positioning goals and work backwards from there to find the best strategies. Do you want to be a blue-collar retail bank, an exclusive consultative bank, or a small business bank? Do you want to be high-touch and have the large staff needed to accommodate that, or are you aiming for high efficiencies and high volume with less service? You can be any of these you want, but not all—and different strategies will serve each of these different goals.

If properly deployed, managed, and systematized, a change of strategy can double, triple, or quadruple your profits and growth. It can revitalize your people and breathe life into what has often become a tired approach. It’s a process well worth undertaking.

And never forget that the best strategy is often a multitude of strategies. So cast your net wide, and don’t be surprised if you end up integrating innovations from across the business spectrum to create a dynamic new formula for success.

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