Strategy Development Models

In the seminal article titled “Beware of the Busy Manager,” Heike and Sumantra discussed findings from their ten-year project focused on the behaviors of busy managers. They found that 90% of managers squander their time in all sorts of ineffective activities. A mere 10% of managers spend their time in a committed, purposeful, and reflective manner. And, it is these managers, overwhelmingly, that produce the greatest results for the organizations they work for. Solid strategy development models are important tools in helping an organization to focus ultimately on what matters most.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) conducted an exhausting best practices study in strategic planning. One of their important conclusions is to separate “strategy development” from “strategic planning.” Here’s why. In too many organizations, strategic planning is little more than “political posturing,” “agendas,” a “budget game,” an “elitist club,” a “manipulation trick” or “let’s sit in the dentist chair” type of an exercise. Great strategy is seldom developed in the process. A great strategy maximizes your chance of success. It is founded on considerable research and assessment work.

Amazon is in an extremely competitive market – retail. Failure rates are high in retail. If Amazon decided to rest on their successes, they would quickly go out of business. Amazon’s climb to its current level is impressive. Learning about Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon is particularly inspiring. Success didn’t come all at once to Amazon. Many forecasted failure for Amazon. Jeff had enough vision and constancy of purpose to prove the doomsdayers wrong.

Let’s look at the strategy development model that Amazon uses. It isn’t rocket science. What they have done, however, is approach strategy development in a highly analytical way – maximizing the use of tested and tried strategy development tools.