Four stages of corporate strategy evolution

  Since the establishment of the business school 100 years ago, everyone has tried their best to use scientific methods to summarize the regularity. This is the scientific aspect; the art is familiar to everyone, and many entrepreneurs are crazy and independent. Very creative, this part cannot be taught in school.
  The other part is also easy to be ignored. Many things in the strategy itself are things that people do. They are the accumulation of experience. They can only be taught by word and example, and can only be taught by hand. From this perspective, they can definitely be learned, but on the other hand The cost and price of learning is very high, because it is not something that can be quantified and can be said clearly, but more of an accumulation and inheritance of experience.
  When I was in class, I was most afraid of others asking me: How to make a strategy? There is no simple answer to this question.
  How many meetings will be held in a year? Should the company set up a strategy department? How many people should there be in the strategy department? How to subtly grasp and make judgmental analysis when making strategy?
  These are not clear in a few words, and often vary greatly in different situations. I want to share-the experience and experience of craftsmanship, everyone in science can understand it, and I can’t talk about art, so I will share my experience in craftsmanship.
1. What is the role of strategy

  Before discussing the strategy in detail, I would like to tell you what role strategy plays in the enterprise.
  1. The three cornerstones of an enterprise-
  Mission is a mission that everyone is familiar with. My own experience is: a truly good company must have the pursuit of going beyond money. No money is absolutely impossible, but money is definitely not everything. For a good company, if it wants to recruit real talents, if it wants to make a career, it must give everyone a sense of self-achievement, a big pursuit beyond the individual.
  Why have a sense of mission? Essentially, it is to solve the meaning of the organization’s existence, Why us?
  What is an organization? Organization is a group of people coming together to accomplish tasks that no single person can accomplish. What kind of people come together for what purpose, this is the ultimate goal of a company’s existence. If only money is the purpose of existence, there is no differentiation from the perspective of strategy, because money is too homogeneous. Without differentiation, there is no way to attract better and more unusual talents. Therefore, the sense of mission is a very important cornerstone of an enterprise.
  2. The three cornerstones of the enterprise-
  Vision, many people translate it as vision, but vision carries too many personal wishes. I generally translate it into vision, which is the ability to see the future, to predict and grasp the future.
  Why is the word Vision so good? Because “look” is a verb, can you see the future? Can the future emerge in front of you alive? The two most important requirements of the strategy: one is forward-looking and the other is differentiation. Where does the forward-looking come from?
  First, stand tall and see far. The source of foresight lies in your unique judgment about the future. You can see the state that may be revealed in the future earlier, faster, and more clearly than others. If you can see the future, you will naturally go better than others. Second, it decides What do we do? What are these people doing together? To realize the mission of the organization? Foresight is to solve the problem of what to do.
  3. Three cornerstones of enterprise-organization
  Mission solves the problem of people, and Vision solves the problem of things, but how do people and things fit together? What kind of talent is the right person? What to do under what circumstances, in fact, this is the organization. Organize to solve the problem of “how do we do it”.
  I am a layman in this respect, but I have some simple points to analyze with you, such as: team. I have seen a lot of discussions about the team, and I think it’s not at the point. Everyone advocates teamwork. In fact, the team is not a cause but a result. It is the result of all things being right. The team is difficult to make in advance. of.
  Therefore, the most important requirements of an organization are the right people, the right things, and the right methods-how to integrate them organically? Integrating the right people and things together is the core of execution.
  In fact, the combination of Who and What is the “like-minded” that everyone is very familiar with. Only like-minded people have the possibility of a team. The direction is different, the method is different, and the way is different. Without the prerequisites for like-minded people, it is impossible to make a good team.
  What if many companies do not have a mission and vision at the beginning? There are very, very few companies like Alibaba that had a clear vision when it was established in 1999. Even so, Jack Ma actually had four years of entrepreneurial experience before he founded Alibaba in 1999, so that mission was also refined from this past experience.
  Some people are willing to temporarily give up some short-term benefits because they have a relatively strong mission, and work harder to look at the long-term development trend, because only in this way can the company be truly long-term and realize their mission.
  Therefore, a sense of mission is a very common prerequisite for companies willing to think about foresight. But conversely, there are some people who are relatively vision-driven, because they see the future and have a stronger sense of mission in the process of realizing this future ideal. So generally speaking, the mission is to gradually become clear and become stronger as an enterprise grows from small to large. In turn, it will also bring greater promotion to the genes of a good enterprise.
  These are the three cornerstones of an evergreen enterprise that I have summed up. It is a good company to be able to do one well; to be able to do two is probably an excellent company; to be able to do three is definitely an excellent company.
2. Strategic thinking

  What is strategic thinking? I think strategic thinking is an ability that can be cultivated. For companies, as long as they enter the management, they must slowly cultivate the ability of strategic thinking. If you do not have the ability to think strategically at the director level, the executive power of the company will be greatly reduced, because middle-level managers are a link between the past and the next. Without the ability to think strategically, there is no way to catch the thoughts passed down from above, and it is also difficult to integrate many of the front lines. The situation is refined and passed up effectively.
  At the same time, the middle management should be integrated in the strategy formulation process. Sharpen the knife and chop wood by mistake. Let them participate more in strategy formulation, in fact, greatly improve the efficiency of execution, because they understand the logic and background of a certain strategy formulation, and have a sense of participation, they can execute more proactively.
  1. Prospects and know only
  strategic thinking among the core is the vision. Foresight is the premise and assumption of strategic judgment and the basis of strategic forward-looking. It has never been seen that current companies have strategies, and companies that are moving forward have no strategy. Before doing anything, think about how the industrial structure will evolve in three years.
  ”Start with the end” is strategic thinking. If this is the case today, everyone is the same, so I want to do this too. This is the most typical no strategy. Swarming up, what is popular and what to do, always follow the trend, always catch up with the next trend, this is a typical opportunity-oriented.

  To judge whether a company has strategic thinking, the easiest way is to look at the internal discussion of the company’s people, will they often talk about the future, and how to push it backwards. The basic thinking method of successful people is to push backwards, because when there is no direction, all energy is meaningless. Energy and direction together are the forces. Strategy is more to tell us the direction and give you. A sense of direction.
  There is a word called “zhizhi”, “zhizhi” is a banner Mr. Li Ka-shing hangs in his office. “Stop” means the end, because you know the end, so you know how to go this way.
  ”Knowledge stop” is derived from a sentence in the “University”: “Knowledge stop and then there will be concentration, calm and then can be safe, and then can be considered, and then can be obtained”. Most of the time, “consider” can be understood as thinking and planning, which is the so-called strategic planning, and “consider to get something”, there are three important steps ahead.
  We often say what is the most difficult thing for entrepreneurs? “Can stand loneliness and stop temptation”, and the prerequisites of these two are both stability and peace. Only with these two can there be worries, and peace of mind can be reasonable. This is the first step of the strategy I talked about. In fact, the clearer you see, the less you will be confused by the outside world and the more you can form your own judgment.
  We say that the key to the president is arbitration. The arbitrator can make judgments and decisions. No matter how uncertain the decision is, always press the button. This is the first core of strategic thinking, knowing how to stop, judgment of the end of the industry, and forward-looking, this is a very important first step in strategy.
  2. take the situation and take the field
  when you know the general direction of the strategy, you know the start and end points. The next step to decide is the strategic path choice. What path do you choose? It is impossible to walk in a straight line. No company can walk in a straight line. Let me tell you a common way of thinking:
  Everyone will often discuss whether it is “taking the momentum” or “taking the truth”? Is it safe to land or build a big pattern. The interesting thing about strategy-you are always looking for dynamic balance. At the end of the strategy, it is a dynamic balance, which is a degree.
  Therefore, a very important point for enterprise development is that “degree” is a dynamic balance, and “degree” determines the pace of enterprise development.
  When you expand rapidly, there must be a process of sedimentation, digestion and absorption, or else like we have seen some corporate enclosures, circles around the world, the last wave must fall back like dominoes, and stop continuously. There are no gaps.
  Therefore, the rhythm and the degree are very important, and the dynamic balance is mastered in taking the situation and taking the ground. In the middle, there are different judgments according to different situations.
  3. How collapsed
  under the future we have a relatively clear relative obscurity but the general direction of the case, the first entry point is the most critical.
  When we discussed before, the most talked sentence was: After you have a strategy map, you must find a place that will bleed with a single stabbing, and everyone will naturally rush up when you smell the blood. It can be torn apart. If four or five points are knocked with small nails, after 3 years of knocking, no point is broken, everyone will collapse.
  The important thing is to find a point to cut in, make it deep and thorough, thoroughly drive the pile in, and then infiltrate and expand.
  ”Eye is good and hands are low”, I use it as a commendatory term. The intention must be high and the starting point must be low. This is a good strategic combination. If the intention is not high, there will be no pattern, and there will be no great weapon if there is no momentum; you can’t make breakthroughs and accumulate without starting low. Only with the cooperation of “hands and eyes” can the strategy be effectively implemented.
3. Strategy = want to do, can do, can do

  What I said earlier is strategic thinking. Next, what is strategy? What is the content of the strategy? To put it bluntly, the strategy is very simple. It is to decide what an enterprise should and should not do. Only if you do something, you can do something, and you can do something big.
  First, what do you want to do? What are your goals and ideals? What excites you?
  Second, what opportunities are there outside and what can be done?
  There are indeed different opportunities at different times. This is the vision I talked about earlier. The core thing is to judge what is a big opportunity and what is a small opportunity. A discussion of foresight can deduce what can be done, what can’t be done, what can be done big, and what can be done small. This is a judgment on external opportunities.
  Third, what can you do? What kind of resources, people or organizational capacity do you have?
  Want to do, can do, can do, the small intersection in the middle is what you really should do, and this is your strategy.
  Want to do: Think about it, everyone. If you don’t want to do that, if you are a little reluctant, you will probably not do well in the end. Because this thing is already difficult enough, you still have lumps in your heart, and you are unwilling to do it, and the chances of it being done in the end are very small.
  What you can do: What you can do is to judge the opportunity cost. Most companies make a feasibility report when making investment decisions. The feasibility report calculates whether the net present value of the project itself is high enough. This is a financial analysis.
  The strategic analysis is what is the other biggest opportunity given up in order to chase this opportunity. Why the strategy is difficult is because there is no way to make a conclusion afterwards. Afterwards, you may feel that this matter is a big loss, catching the little rabbit but letting go of the big goat. The judgment of opportunity must be based on the concept of opportunity cost.
  Ability to do: Ability to do is the capability of an enterprise, and there are two dynamic unifications for doing. The development of competence requires resources and time investment. To put it to the extreme, capacity building means that as a person is bold, he is more productive. Organizational ability is not innate. Organizational ability is gradually cultivated. In this sense, you can train talents based on strategic goals, but in turn, the cultivation of capabilities is extremely resource-intensive and time-consuming, especially time. There is no shortcut to the cultivation of ability. So from this point of view, enterprises cannot do everything.
  Competence is always a relative concept. Whether you do well or not is not counted. Whether you can do better than your best competitor is the core competitiveness and the ability to differentiate.
  Most companies think about whether this can be done. It is indeed possible to dig two or three people to form a small team, but you are probably not doing well enough, and it is even more unlikely that this industry will compete. When the situation becomes more intense, the situation becomes more cruel, and the profit becomes lower and lower, the limited ability cannot withstand the strong pressure of this market integration. Therefore, being able to do must be a relative concept.
  Therefore, the most important thing for a person is to give full play to his strengths, not to make up for shortcomings, because making up for shortcomings is never enough.
4. The 4 stages of strategic evolution

  Everyone has their own set of thoughts when talking about strategy, but I later found that everyone’s discussion on strategy is prone to controversy, because companies are at different stages of development, and their main contradictions are different, so strategies are completely different. The characteristics are also different.
  1. Strategic attempt of
  a road must pass through the start-up companies from 0-1, it is a very sad Hom. Companies at this stage are still in a strategic trial period. Simply put, the company has not found “North” at all in the innovation process, but the founder knows that strategy is very important.

  However, there are also two completely different styles of opportunity-oriented entrepreneurs and vision-oriented entrepreneurs. Opportunity-oriented entrepreneurs are relatively close to the market, very grounded, know what they want now, and will seize good opportunities within a year or two to cut in. Those with longer-term thinking can even seize two or three opportunities. This kind of entrepreneurs will realize that they have to develop strategic thinking skills and gradually promote the enterprise.
  The vision-oriented entrepreneur is extremely painful in the first three or four years of starting a business, because he can’t find an entry point, and more is thinking about the future, but this future is too far away from reality, how can it be projected to the present moment of entrepreneurship? It is more difficult and requires constant trial and error.
  Many companies will get stuck here. If you try too much, the window of opportunity may be gone, or investors may not want to play with you.
  Therefore, a vision-oriented entrepreneur is the most difficult at the stage from 0 to 0.1, but from 0.1 to 1 will be the fastest, because he has spent a long time thinking about strategic issues, as long as the product comes out, he will know how Make it bigger and have plenty of stamina.
  Generally speaking, when a company is in a strategic trial period, it is innovation trial and error. Thinking about how to make the vision gradually clearer and find the right entry point, the founder is the only driving force at this time.
  2. The strategy of forming
  and shaping of the strategic importance of convergence, when entrepreneurs find the feeling can not put it into a routine, a strategy, a model, this time the team should reach a consensus, because the first may be the founder of feel The strategy is right, and now it needs to be understood and recognized by the entire team.
  I judge whether a company, especially a platform-based company, has entered the strategic formation period. It depends on whether the company’s revenue can double tenfold in two to three years. Because you find the right direction, the company will definitely have a detonation stage. Growth is achievable.
  This is a very typical feature of a company in its strategic forming period. As long as the entry point is found very accurately, the development of the company will have a tipping point, and then the first round of explosions will occur in your accumulation of resources, and the entire potential of the company Will be brought up, and the team will gradually take shape.
  3. The strategic expansion of
  the third phase of strategic expansion.
  At this time, the company’s strategy must be clear. Only a clear strategy can be decomposed and be partially implemented by people who do not understand the strategy. Then we must pay attention to the business model, and this model can be decomposed, relying on the following organization to execute, instead of the core team.
  Entrepreneurs must have organizational skills during the period of strategic expansion, and they must also know how to find leverage, and figure out what leverage you need to achieve rapid development of the enterprise? Is it capital leverage, organizational leverage or business leverage?
  4. The implementation of the strategy of
  the last stage is the efficient implementation of the strategy, all are very familiar with the routine, and the rest is the speed issue. At this time, what the company has to do is to optimize the operating model, because you have found two or three key points that affect the company’s development. This key point is similar to the square meter performance in retail.
  At this point, the culture will come into play, because the entire team cannot be managed by the founder alone. The key is whether the culture accumulated in the early development of the enterprise can be naturally released, or whether the so-called informal cultural elements can reduce the operating cost of the organization.
  Therefore, you can think about which of the four stages your company is currently in. This may have a positive guiding effect on entrepreneurs.
  For example, 0.1 to 1 is the best time for companies to introduce talents, because the original team may not have the ability to grow rapidly. When the company is in the late stage of the strategic expansion period, entrepreneurs can retreat and leave more things to the team to take care of. However, when the company is in the strategic formation period, it is absolutely impossible to retreat, because many things are still needed. If it is not formed, entrepreneurs need to judge and grasp. Therefore, understanding the strategic stage of an enterprise will help entrepreneurs find their role positioning.
5. When strategic decisions become the norm

  Today’s strategy is not a one-time decision, but a continuous decision. Because we are facing an era of high uncertainty and great changes. Uncertainty has become the norm, so that many strategies and organizations we have learned in the past require a certain degree of sublation.
  This will lead to a radical change in the way we think. It is difficult for us to force ourselves to give a three-year accurate judgment, because any judgment must be wrong. You can only make a preliminary judgment, and then iterate and optimize based on feedback. You only need to approach the future earlier than others. But the challenge is that this methodology requires training.
  1. Strategic no longer be CEO one thing
  from this point of view, the ability to not only focus on the strategic CEO, will become executive team some degree of core literacy. Because companies often need to make important decisions, strategic decisions become the continuous output of the organization. However, all strategic decisions are generally related to life and death, and the speed of environmental changes is so fast, which forces companies to strengthen their strategic capabilities.
  Why was there a consulting company like McKinsey before? It is because in the original traditional industry, the period for companies to make major strategic decisions is often ten or twenty years, so it is not worth investing energy to cultivate strategic capabilities, and there is no way to cultivate strategic capabilities, because the opportunities for making major strategic decisions are very high. less.
  So everyone outsources their capabilities to a company. Their methodology is better, and then they use this methodology to help the company make long-term ten-year strategic planning. Even if it costs tens of millions, it can be managed for ten years. value.
  But today, when your organization needs to continuously output strategic decisions, strategy must become your core competence, and at the same time it must become an endogenous competence of the organization.
  2. strategy and execution are no longer split
  may have strategic implications of today’s decisions frontline staff are. Because most of the time what you output is just a strategic intent or strategic imagination, when they are passed on to the front line, especially when encountering specific scenarios, how to make decisions becomes a matter for frontline employees. Essentially, the actions of frontline employees are part of the actual implementation of the organization’s strategy, unlike in the past, where employees are merely executors. Strategy and execution are no longer separated.
  In the past, strategic decisions were top-down. After the strategic goals were decomposed layer by layer, the employees below used standardized actions to complete them, and then realized a certain KPI. The challenge faced by organizations today is how to implement strategy through distributed collaboration?
  Why do you complain today that the company’s internal collaboration is too difficult? Because in the past there was no need for coordination at all, today it is completely the opposite. To achieve the goal requires too many people to participate. In this sense, the strategy is broken down on the first day, and the execution itself contains the strategy, which becomes part of the strategic feedback.
  But today’s decomposition is different from the past in terms of granularity. It is more like a process of organic evolution, which requires co-creation. Why has the term “co-creation” become so popular now? Because strategy is increasingly becoming a co-creation process, more people need to be involved. This is an era that requires creativity.
  Ford had a famous saying back then, “I hope employees don’t bring their heads when they come, just bring hands and feet.” But today you must hope that all employees bring their heads, but if you want to take care of your heads, you have to take care of them. If your heart is not there, your head is not there.
  What about the heart? You naturally have to talk about mission, vision and values. This is a completely different set of logic and mechanism from the past, because what you want is their brains, not standardized actions.
  Drucker said a very classic saying: “No one has the ability to predict the future, the best way to predict the future is to create it.” This sentence seems particularly relevant now.