One of the best chapters in Jack Welch's new book Winning is on strategy. Let's see what he says:
"It's not that I don't understand their [the experts'] theories about competitive advantage, core competencies, virtual commerce, supply chain economics, disruptive innovation, and so on, it's just that the way these experts tend to talk about strategy -- as if it is some kind of high-brain scientific methodology -- feels really off to me."
Welch boils down strategy into 3 + 5. The "3" refers to 3 steps where the key is to come up with a "big aha". The "5" refers to five slides that answer a set of questions that cycle back to the "big aha".
The Three Steps:
- First, come up with a "big aha" for your business -- a smart, realistic, relatively fast way to gain sustainable competitive advantage.
- Second, put the right people in the right jobs to drive the "big aha" forward.
- Third, relentlessly seek out the best practices to achieve your "big aha", whether inside or out, adapt them, and continually improve them.
The Title of the Five Slides (I won't give the bullet points, buy the book!!)
- What the Play Field Looks Like Now. (scoping out the competition)
- What the Competition Has Been Up To (where is the competition going? are there new entrants?)
- What You've Been Up To (scoping out yourself)
- What's Around the Corner (where are the threats?)
- What's Your Winning Move?