Jan 15, 2024

Strategy

What Is Strategy?

What Is Strategy?

What Is Strategy?

What Is Strategy?

7 mins read

The Three Types of Design Every Startup Needs

You are most likely not making the most of your current situation.

Whether business or personal.

You’re leaving progress on the table; Whether it’s money, time saved, overall efficiency or clearer learning about what could be better in your future efforts.

And that is because you don’t have a STRATEGY. I know, fancy world. What does it even mean to have a strategy? Well, great question. Let’s talk about it.

What is strategy?

At its core, strategy is in one part a set of choices. Choices about what to do and what not to do. And systems/environments that enable you to uphold those choices.

This applies to both individuals and businesses. But I want to spend the rest of this conversation talking to businesses/business owners.

In any given situation, you do not have unlimited resources. You don’t have unlimited money or human resources and you definitely don’t have unlimited time. This means you cannot go after everything and anything with the limited resources you have. Therefore you need to make choices.

Choices about what opportunities you’ll pursue as a business and which ones you will not bother with. As simple as this concept is, it can be very hard for business owners to live out. Because you think you’re a superman/superwoman. The constraints may apply to other people but not you. In reality, it’ll only take you 5 minutes of truthful reflection to realise that you are not the superhero you think you are – That the constraints in-fact apply to as much as they do the next business/ business owner.

But there’s a deeper problem and here it is, on what basis do you make these choices?

The answer what is your AMBITION? Or in Roger Martin’s words, your WINNING AMBITION!

This principle in itself isn’t new or hard to grasp. Your business cannot make decisions if you don’t have a clear definition of what your ambitions are. Having a vague idea of where you want your business to be “when” it is successful is not a winning ambition.

I (Eldad) want Oxegene to be the first consulting company of choice for medium-sized businesses that are looking to solve complex growth problems and are willing or at least open to adopting unconventional approaches to that end. I hope we achieve that in the next 5 years.

That, what I just wrote up there, is a winning ambition. So let’s break it down.

Firstly, what do we want - to become number one?

The reason the word “WINNING” is important is because unless you’re in it to win it, you won’t play to win. Uncle Roger seems to share this perspective as well. One of the most dangerous states a business can be in is in a continual state of getting by. Things aren’t great, but they are not bad either. So you’re just coasting. To truly achieve your goals and results, you need to make a lot of tough choices. These are not easy choices but they are necessary if you want to grow.

Let’s talk a little more about what winning means. In my case, I want my company to be number one in a specific category. But winning doesn’t have equate to being number one. It can be some other goal like revenue, or valuation, so whatever objective is meaningful to you. But whatever the case it must be defined clearly.

The second part of that ambition statement is “Who are we winning with”? – businesses that are looking to solve their most complex growth problems and are willing or at least open to adopting unconventional approaches to that end

This part is also crucial. You need to decide the domain of your ambitions. Like we established from the beginning you have limited resources. That is why choices matter. Deciding your domain/market/niche is a fully blown conversation. You can either start outside-in i.e. looking at what opportunities exist and making a decision or inside out - choosing a passion or something you’re interested in. There are arguments for both sides.

In your case, you probably have started something. In that case it may be about working hard to understand the market; customer desires, options, and other relevant context to your business. An honest thoughtful approach to this process will either cause you to pivot, make some changes or double down. Either way, be clear on who you want to win with.

The last bit of the second part of this is why you will be their choice. In our case, these people are looking for unconventional solutions. And fresh ideas.

Knowing these two things already gives you a solid criterion for the rest of the choices you have to make for your business moving forward.

I tossed in a time definition because deadlines are always a good catalyst for momentum. You will make great decisions with just the first two parameters.

If you can make this first choice, you will be on your way to making better clearer choices down the line.

One more question I’m sure you’ve thought about by now…

How do I know I’m choosing right?

Well, you don’t. Every one of these winning ambitions will be a hypothesis. Until otherwise proven, every business decision is a hypothesis. This knowledge is very important. In the absence of extreme luck, your journey will go something like this…

Initial Choice (Hypothesis) - Experiments - data - insights - new choice/variation on old choice.

It is a virtuous cycle that leads you to greener and greener pastures if done right. The reason a lot of businesses run around in endless cycles and make no progress is that they do not understand this framework. If you don’t keep your hypothesis pure, you cannot gain the insights that help you validate and access the validity of said hypothesis.

So at the start, you don’t know. And quite frankly, you never really know. But your subsequent choices get clearer the more you go through this cycle.

Explore vs. Exploit

How’s your first choice/hypothesis different from your second choice? One starts you on exploration, the other leads you to exploitation. Let’s delve into it.

At that first stage, you don’t know anything for sure. So you are simply looking to get data. You may have some secondary data, a hunch, an experience that sparks that first choice. But you want to check the validity of this hypothesis. If at some point you’ve gathered enough data to validate this initial hypothesis you then get into exploit mode.

Exploitation is getting the most out of a particular situation, or opportunity. You know your hypothesis is true. So you invest a little more. You milk that thing! You’re still going through the same loop but your goal here is not learning or validation. It is getting results. Ideally revenue.

Addendum

There’s a lot more to strategy than just making choices. And we’ll go into those in a separate piece. But the point I want to drive home is this;

You aren’t getting the most out of your resources and business efforts because you’re not making systematic choices about what to do and what to ignore. And that is a crucial step to building a successful business or being a successful leader.

I hope that was clear.

Now; to the part where I sell you on something…

At Oxegene we have a product called the Strategy Sprint It’s a 2-day workshop where I work with your C-Level / Leadership team to make some of these choices. This product is best for businesses will at least two people in decision-making positions because that’s where a lot of alignment is needed.

If you felt like, your business could use some more clarity going into 2024, I’d love to help. Book an introductory call here and we chat for 15 minutes to see if we’re a good fit.

I wish you and your business a productive and profitable 2024!

Talk (Hopefully) soon.

Book Recommendation: Playing to Win by Roger Martins.

In the next article, we’ll talk about the power of understanding demand in your business.

Follow and subscribe so you don’t miss out on that article.

You are most likely not making the most of your current situation.

Whether business or personal.

You’re leaving progress on the table; Whether it’s money, time saved, overall efficiency or clearer learning about what could be better in your future efforts.

And that is because you don’t have a STRATEGY. I know, fancy world. What does it even mean to have a strategy? Well, great question. Let’s talk about it.

What is strategy?

At its core, strategy is in one part a set of choices. Choices about what to do and what not to do. And systems/environments that enable you to uphold those choices.

This applies to both individuals and businesses. But I want to spend the rest of this conversation talking to businesses/business owners.

In any given situation, you do not have unlimited resources. You don’t have unlimited money or human resources and you definitely don’t have unlimited time. This means you cannot go after everything and anything with the limited resources you have. Therefore you need to make choices.

Choices about what opportunities you’ll pursue as a business and which ones you will not bother with. As simple as this concept is, it can be very hard for business owners to live out. Because you think you’re a superman/superwoman. The constraints may apply to other people but not you. In reality, it’ll only take you 5 minutes of truthful reflection to realise that you are not the superhero you think you are – That the constraints in-fact apply to as much as they do the next business/ business owner.

But there’s a deeper problem and here it is, on what basis do you make these choices?

The answer what is your AMBITION? Or in Roger Martin’s words, your WINNING AMBITION!

This principle in itself isn’t new or hard to grasp. Your business cannot make decisions if you don’t have a clear definition of what your ambitions are. Having a vague idea of where you want your business to be “when” it is successful is not a winning ambition.

I (Eldad) want Oxegene to be the first consulting company of choice for medium-sized businesses that are looking to solve complex growth problems and are willing or at least open to adopting unconventional approaches to that end. I hope we achieve that in the next 5 years.

That, what I just wrote up there, is a winning ambition. So let’s break it down.

Firstly, what do we want - to become number one?

The reason the word “WINNING” is important is because unless you’re in it to win it, you won’t play to win. Uncle Roger seems to share this perspective as well. One of the most dangerous states a business can be in is in a continual state of getting by. Things aren’t great, but they are not bad either. So you’re just coasting. To truly achieve your goals and results, you need to make a lot of tough choices. These are not easy choices but they are necessary if you want to grow.

Let’s talk a little more about what winning means. In my case, I want my company to be number one in a specific category. But winning doesn’t have equate to being number one. It can be some other goal like revenue, or valuation, so whatever objective is meaningful to you. But whatever the case it must be defined clearly.

The second part of that ambition statement is “Who are we winning with”? – businesses that are looking to solve their most complex growth problems and are willing or at least open to adopting unconventional approaches to that end

This part is also crucial. You need to decide the domain of your ambitions. Like we established from the beginning you have limited resources. That is why choices matter. Deciding your domain/market/niche is a fully blown conversation. You can either start outside-in i.e. looking at what opportunities exist and making a decision or inside out - choosing a passion or something you’re interested in. There are arguments for both sides.

In your case, you probably have started something. In that case it may be about working hard to understand the market; customer desires, options, and other relevant context to your business. An honest thoughtful approach to this process will either cause you to pivot, make some changes or double down. Either way, be clear on who you want to win with.

The last bit of the second part of this is why you will be their choice. In our case, these people are looking for unconventional solutions. And fresh ideas.

Knowing these two things already gives you a solid criterion for the rest of the choices you have to make for your business moving forward.

I tossed in a time definition because deadlines are always a good catalyst for momentum. You will make great decisions with just the first two parameters.

If you can make this first choice, you will be on your way to making better clearer choices down the line.

One more question I’m sure you’ve thought about by now…

How do I know I’m choosing right?

Well, you don’t. Every one of these winning ambitions will be a hypothesis. Until otherwise proven, every business decision is a hypothesis. This knowledge is very important. In the absence of extreme luck, your journey will go something like this…

Initial Choice (Hypothesis) - Experiments - data - insights - new choice/variation on old choice.

It is a virtuous cycle that leads you to greener and greener pastures if done right. The reason a lot of businesses run around in endless cycles and make no progress is that they do not understand this framework. If you don’t keep your hypothesis pure, you cannot gain the insights that help you validate and access the validity of said hypothesis.

So at the start, you don’t know. And quite frankly, you never really know. But your subsequent choices get clearer the more you go through this cycle.

Explore vs. Exploit

How’s your first choice/hypothesis different from your second choice? One starts you on exploration, the other leads you to exploitation. Let’s delve into it.

At that first stage, you don’t know anything for sure. So you are simply looking to get data. You may have some secondary data, a hunch, an experience that sparks that first choice. But you want to check the validity of this hypothesis. If at some point you’ve gathered enough data to validate this initial hypothesis you then get into exploit mode.

Exploitation is getting the most out of a particular situation, or opportunity. You know your hypothesis is true. So you invest a little more. You milk that thing! You’re still going through the same loop but your goal here is not learning or validation. It is getting results. Ideally revenue.

Addendum

There’s a lot more to strategy than just making choices. And we’ll go into those in a separate piece. But the point I want to drive home is this;

You aren’t getting the most out of your resources and business efforts because you’re not making systematic choices about what to do and what to ignore. And that is a crucial step to building a successful business or being a successful leader.

I hope that was clear.

Now; to the part where I sell you on something…

At Oxegene we have a product called the Strategy Sprint It’s a 2-day workshop where I work with your C-Level / Leadership team to make some of these choices. This product is best for businesses will at least two people in decision-making positions because that’s where a lot of alignment is needed.

If you felt like, your business could use some more clarity going into 2024, I’d love to help. Book an introductory call here and we chat for 15 minutes to see if we’re a good fit.

I wish you and your business a productive and profitable 2024!

Talk (Hopefully) soon.

Book Recommendation: Playing to Win by Roger Martins.

In the next article, we’ll talk about the power of understanding demand in your business.

Follow and subscribe so you don’t miss out on that article.

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Leverage the speed of

specialised design teams without all the grunt work.

Leverage the speed of

specialised design teams without all the grunt work.

Leverage the speed of

specialised design teams without all the grunt work.

Keep Exploring...

Copyright 2023

Keep Exploring...

Copyright 2023

Keep Exploring...

Copyright 2023

Strategy

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Strategy

Creative

Media

Labs

Technology

Socials

Email

info@gmail.com