The Real Business Strategy
The Global Fortune 500 Companies
By Osama El-Kadi 2008
"What is their business strategy?"
What most companies declare as their business strategy isn’t so.
What they publicly declare as a strategy, is simply a mix of their policy, objectives, goals, or even mission. To give it a sexy name, they just call it a strategy.
A true strategy will always be “undeclared” and kept secret from the public and certainly from the competitors.
Why the business or corporate strategy must be kept “secret”, you may ask. Because if the strategy is declared, it cannot be called a strategy at all, it may be an objective or a goal but certainly not a strategy.
Imagine the following scenario. An army is about to declare a war for one reason or another; this is no secret, in fact the policy makers could be saying that this war is for freeing this nation from its oppressors for example. This is not a strategy, it could possibly be an objectives or a policy. The strategy in this case will only concern itself with the steps and the actions necessary to win the war.
The army General (Chief Executive) is now given all the resources of this nation to win the war and it is up to him to decide on the best strategy to accomplish such a task depending on the situation at hands.
The General may decide to attack, manoeuvre, defend, use diplomacy or wait. Obviously, the General is not going to declare his strategy for winning.
The same happens with companies: they are in fact in a competitive war: they have armies, tools, intelligence and markets to conquer.
If you look at any company Website, you will in an instance know their policies, objectives and goals. What you will never know is their strategy to achieve these things.
A strategy is a competitive move, a cunning plan if you wish, or a systematic process to achieve certain objective. If it was declared, then it is will no longer be competitive and the competitors will thwart it.
What really caused the confusion between the meaning of strategy and the rest of terms (plan, goal, mission etc) is the writing of the gurus of business strategy. They developed theories of all sorts on planning & management and called it strategy.
Planning deals with a controlled environment i.e. cooking a meal while all the ingredients are laid before you and the environment is stable and conducive to this kind of operation; cooking.
Strategy deals with change and competitive situation. It is really the "cunning plan" to achieve certain objectives or to take advantage of the changing situation.
In this section, I will analyse the business strategy of some of the most successful organisation in the world. My objectives is to show that strategy has nothing to do with planning, not to be mixed with mission or objectives and that it is in reality the "cunning" plans to outwit the competitors and achieve the organisation mission or objectives.
You may be interested also in the following articles, which you will find very useful and entertaining while I am working to build this major section of the web site.
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