Innovation has never been so rapid, while simultaneous the cost of falling behind has never been as high. You need to make decision and find innovative ways to create value for your company, no longer based on your gut feeling but based in facts, without the cost of outdated information.
To do this, strategic agility can be the answer.
What is Strategic Agility?
Before you can develop strategic agility, you need to adopt the mentality of continuously adjusting and adapting strategic direction. This agility is a process staying ambitious and flexible to the changing of circumstances.
Strategic agility should be the outcome of a smooth interplay between two core abilities:
- the ability to define a business strategy with clear ideas about long term goals and important milestones.
- the ability to adapt strategy as a business progresses, allowing assumptions to be validated (or not), when a market to changes or when products/competitors evolve.
For example, here at DataScouts, we embrace a high level of strategic agility by developing our core product on concrete use cases. We continuously enhance and extend the DataScouts’ core data aggregation and curation engine in order to enhance the data harvesting experience.
For (strategic) marketeers and business developers to stay up to pace, they need tools and processes to connect all the moving parts. Innovation has never been so rapid and rather than falling victim to hindsight, they need to gain a real-time holistic overview quickly. This agility means breaking down (data) silos and connecting the all the dots.
What is your focus?
Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersma described in their book, The Discipline of Market Leaders (1997), three generic competitive strategies: operational excellence, customer intimacy and product leadership.
To succeed, companies need to choose their customers, narrow their focus and dominate their market. Companies must choose—and then achieve—market leadership in one of the three disciplines, and perform to an acceptable level in the other two.
Being clear about strategic priorities ensures that all systems are built to accommodate the priority and everyone in the organization is marching towards the same goals.
- Product leadership- creating a great product and leading the market with a novel idea or solution
- Customer Intimacy- understanding the pains of a customer and how their experiences with the market
- Operational Excellence– using automated tools for invoices, correspondence, making sure there is no waste in the value chain.
For more details please refer here.
How can you develop strategic agility?
Strategic agility is the result of combining a clear business strategy, including long term goals and key milestones, with the openness to adapt that strategy as the business progresses.
A wide adopted framework to draft a business strategy, especially among tech entrepreneurs, is the Business Model Canvas.
The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that allows to describe, design and pivot any business model along nine easily-understood business parameters:
- Value Propositions
- Customer Segments
- Customer Relationships
- Cost Structure
- Revenue Streams
A better understanding will lead to strategic agility.
Gaining a better understanding of your business helps you communicate your goals to your team.
- communicate to clients why they should do business with you.
- pull into focus what your business does and how it will continue to do it.
- define your competitive landscape
- systematically monitor the relevant technology, product and service providers in your business space.
It should be clear that developing strategic agility is a necessity to make better strategic decisions. Where to go next, which leads should be your first focus or what technologies you need to watch closely, adapt or neglect, are questions better answered with a data driven approach. Doing is only possible when you really understand your environment.
But how can you understand your environment? What do you need to do, what sources can you use and how can you keep it maintainable?