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20+ Strategy Questions That Reveal Everything

        posted by , April 05, 2013

So you've got a winning new business strategy.

It's tempting to treat your strategy like a new car. It's your baby. You want to protect it. Apply some polish to it. Protect it from the weather.

This is a giant mistake. It's better to treat your strategy like a police suspect. Play good cop, bad cop. Interrogate it. Be suspicious of it.

Expose your strategy to the light and ask yourself these hard questions.

Adapting to Change

The primary cause of business strategy failure is resistance to change. Ideally, your strategy should lead market change. At least it should go in the same general direction as the winds of change.

Does your strategy lead meaningful change?
Does your strategy adapt to changes to customer preferences?
Does your strategy adapt to technological change?
Does your strategy adapt to business and market changes?

Sustainable Competitive Advantage

The goal of any winning strategy is to build sustainable competitive advantage. A sustainable competitive advantage is something you do better than anyone else that's likely to endure.

Does your strategy seek innovation?
Does your strategy sacrifice long term performance for short term gain?
Does your strategy build competitive advantages that will endure?
Are you taking too much risk?
Are you taking too little risk?
Are you improving the quality of your products?
Are you improving the quality of your processes?
Are you improving your people?
Are you improving your culture?
Does your strategy build and protect your reputation?

Basic Reality

A few basic validations that your strategy is grounded and realistic.

Does your strategy improve revenue?
Does your strategy match your commitment to business owners (stockholders)?
Have you considered the alternatives?
Does your strategy provide consistency of direction or are you going off on a tangent?
Does your strategy create current or future compliance issues?
Does your strategy measure the right things?
Is your organization capable of executing your strategy?

The Extra Mile

You only live once — make your strategy worthwhile.

Thirty years from now, when you look back on your career will you be proud of this strategy?
Will your strategy strike fear into the hearts of your competition?
Will your strategy energize your people?
Will your strategy wow your customers?
Does this strategy make the world a better or worse place?

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