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Brain circuits

Is your company falling in to these traps when crafting strategy?

Published 29 October 2021 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

Businesses large and small pour tons of time and resources into crafting smart strategies each year. Your strategy, after all, is the ultimate roadmap for success. But many companies still fail to get the central message right. Do you recognize any of these traps?

Are you obsessing with operations? Day-to-day numbers and flows are important, but they shouldn’t be the driving force behind your strategy. If your team is over-fixated on the nuts and bolts of daily operations, you probably have too much internal focus.

Are you focusing to much on step-by-step growth? Many companies will look at last year’s numbers and try to improve upon them by a few percentage points. While you obviously want your business to grow, making incremental steps probably shouldn’t be your primary focus. You should be seeking to find ways to make big leaps – and that requires a broader, outward-looking strategy.

Are you reacting to things that happen rather than looking forward? To differentiate yourself in the marketplace and stay ahead of the competition you want to be proactive and leading the change in your industry, not reacting to it. Your strategy should be putting you in a position to do this.

The good news is the solution to getting out of each of these traps is to put purpose at the center of your corporate strategy. Purpose is a powerful tool that unifies the organization, motivates stakeholders, and creates wide-ranging impact. When companies recognize they have a bigger role to play in society and seek to change the world around them, they open the doors to true transformation.

Further reading: 

How to Put Purpose at the Core of Strategy by Thomas Malnight

Authors

Thomas Malnight

Professor of Strategy and General Management and Faculty Director of the Business Transformation Initiative (BTI)

Thomas W. Malnight is Professor of Strategy and General Management and Faculty Director of the Business Transformation Initiative (BTI) at IMD. His fields of interest are strategy, leading and accelerating transformational organizational change and the role of purpose in redefining businesses and their impact on society.

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