The strategic blueprint for business world domination is a framework to help you plan your business. Whether you’re running a small business or a multinational corporation, as a business leader it’s your responsibility to figure out how to grow sustainably. There are hundreds or even thousands of books and papers covering the topic of how to approach that challenge and this series of posts are not any different. Over the next couple of weeks and months I aim to cover a big picture strategic blueprint or framework that can help you figure out how to achieve business world domination.
Strategic Blueprint Structure
The strategic blueprint consists of 3 fundamental pillars or questions. The three questions form the essence of deciding what business you’re in, how to get the business going, and how to create a prosperous organization.
- What are the opportunities?
- How do we make it happen?
- How do we ensure good execution?
The opportunity question is the first step in starting a business. It challenges you not only to choose an industry, market, or segment, but also clearly define what it is that makes you stand out against existing and potential competitors. The question fundamentally demands you to clearly state or outline what it is you’re trying to get done.
Many entrepreneurs and business leaders tend to skip or fast-forward the process of answering the opportunity question. An entrepreneur might find it more useful to just get started and figure out the details later, while a business leader running a successful company may think they’re merely stating the obvious. In both cases it feels natural to skip straight to the second question and start working to get it done.
However, I urge the reader to spend enough time on the opportunity question. A careful study of the business environment and thoroughly thought out business strategy enables you to focus on the things that matter the most to your business. Improper analysis and planning will come back to haunt you when it’s time to allocate the company’s limited resources.
Relevant blog posts:
- Jobs To Be Done: Business Raison d’Etre (link)
- Attributes and Values: Business Strategy Core (link)
- Business Theory of Disruption Innovation (link)
Resources and Capabilities
The second question primarily deals with allocating the organization’s available resources. Traditionally we think of resources as primarily the people, technology, cash, equipment, and so on. However, it may be useful to expand this to also include the capabilities of the organization and its people.
Traditionally, when a firm expands its business scope beyond its initial product or service, a firm is organized in a single corporate unit and multiple business units. To a varying degree the business units operate independent from each other, but are linked by resources shared by the corporate. However, in today’s fast-changing and sometimes volatile marketplace, the rigidity of a corporate backbone may be too restrictive.
With this in mind, from the perspective of organizational structure I follow the idea of authors Andrew Yeung and Dave Ulrich set out in their book Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater Value in Fast-Changing Markets and make a strict distinction between the corporate substrate and the business teams. While the business teams are entirely independent in striving to win in their respective markets employing the available resources, the corporate substrate ensures the teams align. You could say the substrate is the glue that binds everything together. It acts and reacts on inputs from the business teams, provides a rigid structure on the short-term but inevitably changes over the long term.
The key challenge of the resource and capabilities question is to find the right balance between business teams in the marketplace and a corporate substrate that both provides a strong structure and the ability to change over time.
The third and last question deals with the long-term prosperity of the organization. It challenges the business leader to think about the governance processes and leadership needed to help the firm expand the business scope.
Governance processes includes developing and nurturing the right organizational culture, motivate and hold people responsible for their job performance, encourage and support the generation of new ideas as well as foster them, attract and retain talents, the sharing of information with peers and partners, and the collaboration across the entire organization ecosphere.
The leadership challenge boils down to four words: learn, grow, change, and create.
In the coming weeks and months, I hope to provide more context with each of the topics. I will add the links to the relevant blog posts in the sections above.