Creating an effective strategy

I would like to share what I have learned at one of the MIT executive program "Developing and Managing a Successful Technology and Product Strategy" by Prof. Pierre Azoulay.

I was impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of this framework and wanted to apply this framework at work. This post describes how I did it.

Essentially, there are three main foundations of an effective strategy:

Value creation: What value will we create?

Value delivery: How will we organise to deliver?

Value capture: Why will it make money?

I focused on this framework and adapted this into my functional area aiming to create an effective strategy. In practice, this is how I created my functional strategy:

  1. I got out of the office area and walked around and sat down at a cafeteria area. This really helped to clear my head from daily work issues, which could prevent me from staying focus. When I can't stay focus, I usually try to think of something that is completely different until my head is clear and be able to develop a vision.

  2. Once I can clear my head and stay focus, I set my goals, i.e. creating an effective strategy that will be easy to be implemented and executed with flexibility.

  3. After setting out my goals and what I wanted to achieve, I visualised multiple ways in order to achieve these. I was simply putting the dots down and not thinking about any connections at this point of time.

  4. After that, I started writing down every idea and item that was on the path. Basically, I tried to develop more contexts for each of the ideas and created the potential connections between each of them.

  5. I then rationalised these items by extending them or combining them and grouped them using the value framework.

  6. Once this is done, I created a one-pager for each foundation block (Value Creation, Value Delivery and Value Capture) and put down the rationalised grouped items under the relevant blocks.

  7. Tweaked all three pages as a whole strategy once it was done.

  8. I then shared with people that I know who can add value and seek their further feedback.

  9. Tweaked further, simplified and compressed the content.

  10. Finally, I asked one of my talented designers to work on the document for iconizing the components and making it more presentable and memorisable.

At the end, I had a pretty solid functional strategy that is aligned with the company’s business strategies. In case you are wondering how long it took me to come up with a functional strategy, it took me a few hours to come up with the first satisfactory version of the strategy.

I am very certain that such approach and framework could be applied to any functional strategy, business strategy or corporate strategy. To further extend the approach, you can also create the sub-sections for each value foundation block with alternatives and options that can diversify overall strategy.

I hope this post will inspire you to create effective strategies to contribute to your business success.