Business strategy did not really become a formal focus until 1960. It really grew as a discipline from the 1970s – in large part due to increased economic turbulence and a need to improve and change.
Improvements in strategic thinking contributed significantly to business success. However, there have also been a large number of fleeting fads during the last 50 years that contributed to business failures.
The most important question to ask yourself is, ”Does our business strategy give us the right to win?” The answer is not in continually looking for and adopting new theories in hopes of finding the quick solution to success. The right approach is to develop your own method that focuses on building the underlying capabilities of your business.
Consultancy practice McKinsey & Company has consulted with 2/3rd of the world’s top Fortune 100 companies in the area of business strategy. They use what they refer to as the “ten timeless tests of strategy.” The test questions are paraphrased below:
- Will your strategy beat the market?
- Does your business strategy tap a true source of advantage?
- Is your strategy detailed and clear enough to compete?
- Does your business strategy put you ahead of trends?
- Is your business strategy founded on privileged insights?
- Does your strategy embrace uncertainty?
- Does your business strategy balance long-term commitment and flexibility?
- Is your strategy contaminated by bias?
- Is there conviction to execute?
- Have you translated your business strategy into a plan of action?
How does your strategy fare against these questions?