Edit ModuleShow Tags

Business Strategy: When to Take Your Own Path

The essence of strategy is being different, not the same


Published:

It’s early season and I’m skiing on a Tuesday, which is a luxury. Weekend traffic in Colorado ski country can be soul robbing. We have better-than-average snowfall, and on my first chairlift I notice a snowboarder ducked a rope and got a great line right under the lift. I also notice fox tracks running uphill, through the snowboard track for about 50 yards and then veering sharply to the left into the woods.

The fox obviously used someone else’s “work” to make his trip easier. Why break trail when you don’t have to?! However, at some point — probably related to food — he left the trail to chart his own path.


EXPLORING THE DICHOTOMY BETWEEN VELOCITY + PATIENCE


Perhaps it was the altitude, but this made me think of the path a successful business leader might take — hopefully to business success rather than a varmint to eat! There are many practices in leading others and building a business that previous people have developed and we can replicate. Why chart a new path in those areas?

Best practices in accounting, manufacturing and management techniques deserve study and often should be followed for efficiency and efficacy. The path of least resistance and the simplest solution are often best.

However, there are times when you need to get off the trail and chart your own path. Crafting business strategy is one of those times. The essence of strategy is being different, not the same.

There are lots of different business strategy models, but some would say you only have a few choices. For instance, in “The Discipline of Market Leaders” — if you’re going to buy one book on business strategy, this is a good choice! — authors Treacy and Wiersema say you must choose one of three methodologies: customer intimacy, product leadership or operational excellence. However, the devil is in the details, and drilling down to the critical issues that you must address to exploit that general strategy is what will make you different from the next guy.

It comes back to this question: “Why will your ideal customers buy from you versus your competitor?” If you can’t answer that, get off the trail and explore the woods,

Edit Module
Todd Ordal

Todd Ordal is president of Applied Strategy®. Todd helps CEOs achieve better financial results, become more effective leaders and sleep easier at night. He is a former CEO and has led teams as large as 7,000. Todd is the author of Never Kick a Cow Chip On A Hot Day: Real Lessons for Real CEOs and Those Who Want To Be (Morgan James Publishing, 2016). Connect with Todd on LinkedIn, Twitter, call 303-527-0417 or email todd@toddordal.com.

Get more content like this: Subscribe to the magazine | Sign up for our Free e-newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Most Powerful Salespeople 2019: Net2Source's Ajeta Sinha

Rather than learning from books, Sinha says that the real sales education comes from from people, environment, situations, hardships and blunders.

The Broodmoor Customizes for Events of All Needs and Sizes

The Broadmoor - and its Wilderness Experience properties - encompass a total of 5,000 acres with a wide variety of event and activity options.

Why CEOs Need to be More Aware of Their Leadership Capabilities

Whether you’re a new manager or a seasoned CEO, now is the perfect time to get the real picture. Understanding what you’re good at and where you’re weak shouldn’t be threatening — it should be educational and transformational.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags