Are you planning to update your company’s business strategy? Or are you perhaps thinking to start up a new business altogether? In that case you need a process and some tools to get the job done.
Success in business stems from the ability to communicate with customers, to solve their problems in a way that they prefer, and to do so profitably. To be able to do this as efficiently as possible, you need a business strategy that guides you to your goals. Strategy defines where and how your company competes and what you want to accomplish.
Over the years I, as a management consultant, have helped a fair number of companies and other organizations in strategy-related projects. Why have companies wanted to use an outsider? Often, they have not been able to do it internally because they have lacked the experience, a methodology, or the right person to guide through the process.
There is a lot of literature on strategy, but for many it is too theoretical, or it is targeted at very large corporations. What many executives would like to have, are easy to understand and sound guidelines to follow.
The Four Wheels Strategy Process
It is self-evident that there is no fit-for-all strategy process. However, there are certain elements of strategy that you need to consider, no matter what your business. I have discovered, through my practice, an outline of a strategy process. It has four parts which are formed of four cycles. That’s why I call it The Four Wheel Strategy Process.
I have documented the process into an easy to follow guide. A management team, or a consultant, can use the course material as a blueprint for their next strategy process. The purpose of the Four-Wheel Strategy Process is to make strategy so easy and comprehensible that any company can do it.
The four wheels are thinking tools that you can use when you define and implement your strategy. These tested tools make the strategy work comprehensible and communicative.
The first wheel – Scenario– walks you through the present and shows you the opportunities ahead.
The second wheel – Strategy – helps you understand your strategic choices and crystallizes your strategy.
The third wheel – System – aligns your business system with your strategy and helps managers and employees make the right decisions. It is the tool that brings your strategy to practice.
The fourth wheel – Steering – assists you in defining strategic objectives that you use when you drive your company towards its goals.
The Four Wheel Strategy Process has drawn inspiration from the following academics
- Jules Goddard, Teaching Fellow, London Business School
- Donald C. Hambrick, Professor at Pennsylvania State University
- Robert S. Kaplan, Professor at Harvard Business School
- Cynthia A. Montgomery, Professor at Harvard Business School
- David P. Norton, Founder and Director at Palladium Group, Inc.
- Chris Styles, Associate Professor at The University of New South Wales