In Seven Steps to a sound strategy, I outlined the elements of an effective strategy process. The first step is defining the problem.
It’s not as easy as it may seem, because early in strategy development there’s a lot that isn’t known. Here are some tests for a good problem definition:
A good strategy problem is also one that will cause people to think outside the box – to explore new ideas and directions and perhaps to open new doors. Perhaps this is the difference between a strategic conversation and a tactical one – in the strategic space we’re trying to discover new territory, new opportunities, and new ways to work. In the tactical case we’re trying to improve our existing operations.
Another guide has to do with understanding what it is that you don’t know. For example in the semiconductor business, we know that designers are going to build more and more complex chips, but we don’t know what their technical solutions to dealing with that complexity are going to be. If we’re in the business of serving those customers with solution, understanding more about the customer’s preferred approaches to dealing with complexity is a ...more >