<![CDATA[MK8 - Blog]]>Mon, 07 Mar 2016 15:52:01 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[It's All About the Strategy]]>Fri, 04 Mar 2016 22:55:50 GMThttp://www.mk8digital.com/blog/its-all-about-the-strategy
We've all played some form of team sports.  Before getting on the court, there is always huddle time.  Coach gets everyone on the team, directs a specific play, review positions, etc.  There's the pre-requisite cheer at the end, usually instigated by the coach and seconded by all the players with gusto.  Team goes back on the court with a clear mind, renewed purpose and an elevated level of enthusiasm and energy.

The huddle is a form of realtime correction; the team experiences both opportunities and threats. Thus, they respond accordingly with tactical maneuvers and plays.  All this behavior is meant to apply their winning strategy.  In fact, the overall strategy has already been discussed and deliberated even before the start of the game: in the locker room.
The real value and end game of strategy is a business whose leaders and followers sport "prepared minds."
Sun Tzu, in his military treatise "The Art of War" elaborates on both strategy and tactics. Note that there are two distinct parts to realizing any desired outcome: strategy and tactics. According to Wikipedia, strategy has its roots in military engagements.

And yet, why do many business and technology leaders pay lip service to strategy?  I have witnessed many technology infrastructure projects where the strategy was either lacking or vague.  And the result? These highly visible and expensive engagements eventually failed - they never realized the expected value, benefits or ROI. The old mantra "build and they will come" seems to not work any longer when it comes to digital transformations.

The goal of strategy is to build a target state - a future state for the business. It's a vision of what the business out to become, given the disruption and hyper change happening in the business landscape.  Strategy is inclusive of business goals and objectives, tactical activities and tasks and the human capital needed to accomplish all of the aforementioned.

The reality is that some form of strategy can be informal - it may happen spontaneously in hallway conversations.  Many would have a cynical view of strategy for two reasons: (1) participants see it as driven by the needs of the CEO and (2) the discussion centers mostly on financial and budgetary matters as opposed to long-term strategic goals.  But formal strategy sessions could be beneficial if goals are identified early and articulated well with the team.  It also makes sense to hire a facilitator or outside consultant - he/she would bring a sense of objectivity to the whole facilitation process.

The real value and end game of strategy is a business whose leaders and followers sport "prepared minds."