Develop Strategy

How To Develop Strategy?

Good strategy is critical to business growth.

Organisations develop strategy in different ways. Some develop strategy in a structured way, following a strategy development process.  Other organisations develop strategy in an intuitive way – sometimes called ‘emergent’ strategy.

A strategy development process includes the following stages:-

  1. Agreeing mission and values
  2. Understanding the current position
  3. Generating options
  4. Formulating strategy
  5. Deciding performance drivers
  6. Implementation.

For each stage of the strategy development process, strategic planning frameworks and strategic planning tools can be used.

Creative Thinking In Strategy Development

It’s likely, that the amount of data you have available to input into your strategy and planning processes has increased in recent years. Your own business systems, paid-for market research and public domain statistics may all now be delivering more data and analytics.

However, data alone does not make for good strategy.

In some organisations an increased amount of data has coincided with a decline in the amount of creative thinking that the strategy team inputs into the strategy development process.

This may be due to the feeling of ‘certainty’ that data gives. Perhaps this makes the strategy team less comfortable with the ‘uncertainty’ of thinking creatively and innovating in strategy.

However, creative thinking is critical to developing good strategy – be that corporate strategy, marketing strategy, brand strategy or innovation strategy, sales strategy or market entry strategy.

Creative thinking can play a role in each stage of the strategy development process – from developing the mission and vision through to the implementation stage. However, we suggest that creative thinking is absolutely vital in the first three stages of the strategy development process.

Sometimes organisations focus exclusively on data during stage two ‘understanding the current position.’  The strategy team might use strategy tools and strategic frameworks to map data relating to the company’s position and identify factors that are influencing the company’s performance.

However, an organisation needs to go beyond listing these factors. For winning strategy, you need to explore the real implications of them. This requires imagination and creative thinking.

In the last stage of the strategy development process ‘implementation’, creative problem solving is needed to overcome the barriers to “making it happen”.

A strategy that is developed without sufficient creative thinking is likely to be incremental – a continuation of what has gone before.

However, in today’s fast changing business environment with global competition, incremental strategy can be inappropriate and risky. It may be that there are new technologies appearing that will disrupt your markets. To retain or enhance your position you may need a more creative or radical response.

E.g. The music industry may have been less severely affected in the last decade if recording companies had thought creatively about the full implications of digital downloads when the technology first appeared. 

It is creative thinking that enables the strategy team to imagine the future.

Scenario planning is a specific technique that can contribute to the strategy development process. In scenario planning the strategy development team use creative thinking to imagine a wide range of alternative futures and how the competitive situation may develop. Having agreed the scenarios, the strategy team can then also use creative thinking to imagine how the organisation can effectively respond to changing markets and how they can organise their business to serve its customers of the future better.

Ultimately, creative thinking is a vital ingredient in the process to differentiate the position of your organisation in the marketplace...  and of course, differentiation is largely what developing strategy is about.

Business Benefits Of A Creative Approach to Developing Strategy

  • Data and analytics report the past, creative thinking helps your strategy team imagine the future – and it’s the future that you need to be ready for.
  • Creative thinking opens the strategy team’s minds to non-linear market development – which is how you can get ahead of your competitors.
  • Creative thinking helps the strategy team differentiate the company’s positioning and identify unique sources of competitive advantage.
  • Creative thinking helps the strategy development team develop effective plans to deliver the strategy – which will ensure that things happen and you get results.

Why Choose Anatellô To Help You Develop Strategy?

Anatellô consultants are experienced in the strategy development process. We are also experts in the areas of innovation, growth and creative thinking- this means we can help you channel the creative potential of your teams into the strategy development process.

Anatellô consultants can help you marry robust analytics with creative thinking. This means that you can develop strategy that starts from where you are now, but which moves you towards more ambitious objectives and on a faster trajectory than you may have thought possible.

We believe that developing strategy should involve a diverse range of people.

If the process of bringing together a range of people with differing points of view to develop strategy sounds challenging, have you thought of facilitation?

An Anatellô facilitator can design and deliver an effective process for strategy development for your organisation that will enable you to develop strategy in a faster and more efficient way.