Here is a menu of techniques that can generate creative tension and spur innovation. In this instance, unlike when defining a primary customer or ranking your responsibilities, you need not choose just one, choose whichever and however many are right for your company. In fact, the more innovation you desire, the more techniques you should consider.
★ Assigning stretch goals.
★ Ranking according to performance.
★ Setting spans of accountability that are greater than spans of control.
★ Allocating costs.
★ Creating cross-unit teams and matrix accountability.
Strategic thinking is a MINDSET or way of thinking about a business or organization. It can be distinguished by non-strategic thinking by several characteristics:
★Focuses on long term rather than short term
★Involves systems thinking, and focusing on the big picture, NOT just the small one
★Focuses on identifying leverage (how can we use what we have to maximum advantage)
★Is both analytical and creative processes
★Involves examining assumptions, "the way things have been done around here" and a critical approach that questions what we believe.
★Takes into account that our thinking is going to be partly based on inaccurate information and/or conclusions, and treats any conclusions as tentative or hypotheses.
Many years ago, the company, was working on developing a new kind of adhesive / glue in its laboratory. They were trying to develop something to be used in their famous line of scotch tape products. They came up with a glue that simply did not conform to the specifications and functions they required but had other characteristics. It is said that for a number of years, despite efforts by the research scientist involved, nobody at company was particularly interested in the use of the product or could even see how such a research "failure" could be transformed into a profitable product.
Developing and implementing a business strategy in a non-profit or not for profit organizations is not significantly different in terms of process from implementing a business strategy in a for profit company. The details are different but best practices are still the same. Because of the nature of not-for-profits much of their planning and strategy documents are publicly available online, so we will not go into great detail about how, in this case, the girl scouts, created a new business strategy and deployed through the organization.
Business agility refers to a company's ability to react quickly to changes in the external environment or marketplace so they can avoid being damaged by potential elements that can be threats to their business model and respond quickly as there are new opportunities as a result of shifts and changes in things like demographics, customer behavior etc.
Choosing a primary customer is a make-or-break decision because it should determine how you allocate resources.
The idea is simple:
Allocate all possible resources to meet and exceed your primary customer's needs.
Every strategy carries the risk that an individual's actions will push the business off course. The risk intensifies when managers feel pressure to hit growth and profit targets.
Another way of forcing employees to think outside the box is to assign them to a second box. New perspectives emerge when people are forced out of their routines. When they attend cross-unit team meetings, employees not only serve as emissaries for their home units but also return with ideas and innovations from their new colleagues. One way to force employees to think outside the box is to assign them to a second box.
Executing strategy successfully requires making tough, often uncomfortable choices based on simple logic and clear principles. But we frequently avoid making choices, in the mistaken belief that we can have it all. Instead of focusing on one primary customer, we have many kinds of customers. Instead of instilling core values, we develop lists of desired behaviors. Instead of focusing on a few critical measures, we build overloaded scorecards.
At the root of every failed strategy is a set of assumptions about the future that eventually proved false. We assumed housing prices would never fall simultaneously across the country. We assumed asset diversification would eliminate risk. We assumed the migration to digital media would be slow and orderly. We assumed customers would not accept fewer features in exchange for a lower price.