Those who face complex moments feel the urgency of rethinking the future, but also those who manage a booming business benefit from thinking about the future with an open and curious mind.
Getting to know the playing field and… – move 1
The “playing field” is the place where we play our competitive game to create and bring value to our customers.
It corresponds to the definition of the competitive arena (or arenas), the competitors with whom we measure ourselves and the market, the customers we serve.
This is the first move to define the essential elements that will pass through all the strategic planning effort. A major element of this first part is the identification of the existing “business model” of our company and our competitors.
…seeing blue oceans – move 2
The strategy has to do with the changing dynamics of business drivers.
These dynamics are identified and highlighted through a sub-process called “environmental scanning” which operates in four areas: market forces, industry forces, macroeconomic forces, key trends. This second step analyzes competitors and their strategies, as well as the industry’s Critical Success Factors.
Drawing possible futures – move 3
The selected drivers are then crossed to generate four scenarios.
The choice of names and images to identify each scenario will lead, in the third move, to a descriptive narration for each scenario in order to represent the possible future associated with it. If the predictability of the drivers is high, a single scenario with limited alternatives will be created.
Building different opportunities – move 4
A fundamental step for those who make a strategy is to do their own SWOT analysis, in order to understand risks and opportunities of the market, as well as strengths and internal weaknesses.
We reorganize the SWOT differently (TOWS). TOWS is a systematic way of exploiting all the information contained in the SWOT, generating a complete set of strategic options.
The fourth move, or TOWS, provides a systematic and exhaustive insight into strategic solutions, critical issues and constraints.
Choosing market positioning – move 5
From the fifth move you are ready to outline the future.
1) Defining the position that the company wants to maintain in the future, choosing the company’s attitude to shape its future rather than reacting to competitive forces and the evolution of external trends.
2) Building a new, strong, engaging and captivating vision which can evoke in the collective imagination a desired state of striving for clarity.
3) Full consistency with the company’s culture shall be assessed, in order to understand the strength and the exact direction of change or to recognize any internal braking forces.
Designing the strategy – move 6
Having defined the previous points, we are ready to build the Business Model Canvas of the future, which will provide a different point of view from the other strategy generation processes.
The sixth move focuses on the company’s “business architecture”, structured within the four main blocks of the Value Proposition (why our customers buy our products/services), Customers (who they are and what kind of relationship do we have), Key Processes and Resources (including partners) and Financials (revenue structure and cost structure).
Make the future happen – move 7
The implementation of the new strategy is planned through a roadmap, which is the final step in this process, and translates the selected strategic options into a logical and chronological report on the five key levels of strategic objectives, market objectives, products, technologies and resources, as well as operational projects that will create the optimal execution of the future.