• Donald Davis

Seven Steps To Strategic Success – How To Create A Strategy

Don Davis PhD, MBAIf someone were to ask you today to create a strategy, where would you start? 


Based on previous experience I would suggest that you start with defining a strategy in the view of your key stakeholder.  A strategy is not a Vision, a vision outlines why an organization does something.  A strategy is not a Mission, a mission outlines what an organization is going to do.  A strategy is how an organization is going to achieve the things that it has outlined in the Vision & Mission and for the customers or the people they are taking action for.  Setting a strategy should have the following basic outline:

  1. Market Analysis

  2. Competitive Analysis

  3. SWOT – Strengthens, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats

  4. Strategic Objectives – An outline of the key things that you are going to impact (customer, financial, growth, etc.)

  5. Strategy Map – For each strategic objective, the things you can do to offset each one of these items

  6. Key Initiatives – The specific details or things you are going to implement to achieve your strategy.

  7. What will you measure along the way to know if you are on track?


A small group can assemble the pre-work needed for building a strategy.  The market analysis, competitive analysis, and slide templates can all be completed prior to getting the larger team together that will be assembling the strategy. 


Your invite to your strategy session is critical to building something that has too small of thinking or that is not impacted by groupthink.  Having all departments represented is important.  Having people from different races, genders, and perspectives is also critical.  Sometimes a fresh or historic perspective is also important.  


Developing a strategy for me is much more fun with flip charts and post-it notes.  Tools I have used in the COVID-19 social distancing era are:-Lucidchart or Google Slides – so that teams can edit slides together.-Miro or Xmind – for mind mapping or quickly assembling ideas within the session. 


In your strategy session, it is an opportunity to leap over competition and think differently.   “Strategy is about setting yourself apart from the competition. It’s not a matter of being better at what you do – it’s a matter of being different at what you do.” – Michael Porter  Having a solid strategy for an organization is not just a tremendous objective for leaders and shareholders.  A solid strategy is also a great execution tool for anyone within the organization it helps to set true north.

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