Thursday, April 02, 2015

How To Take Into Accounts Stakeholders While Designing A Strategy

Having a strong strategy which meets both the long term and the short term expectations is a key to long lasting business success. But when it comes to defining a strategy, it is harder than it sounds. As the article says, a list of goal is not a strategy. How many times I have seen people presenting strategies like:
-Increase sales
- Earn marketshares
- Increase net margins

And people who I consider very skilled on top of that... Indeed, there is nothing more common for a business than to have those standard goals, but your competition has the same and there is no way anything good may come out of it. As the article says: they focus on a narrow set of key performance indicators and wade right into developing solutions that feed those metrics, burrowing deeper and deeper into the details. Very quickly they lose their “helicopter view” and get stuck in fix-it mode. 

The article proposes then to create your strategy around your stakeholdes: suppliers, clients, employees, shareholders. 

Here is the three steps approach:
- Recognize who your stakeholders are, and what they look like.
- Identify what you want from your stakeholders: Prior to think about what your stakeholders want from you, you should think about what you want from them!
- Identify what they want from you

Here is an interesting quote from the CEO of Whole Food Market about how he conceives his relationship with his stakeholders: 
“Customers, employees, investors, suppliers, larger communities, and the environment are all interdependent,” he explains. “Management’s job at Whole Foods is to make sure that we hire good people, that they are well trained, and that they flourish in the workplace, because we found that when people are really happy in their jobs, they provide much higher degrees of service to the customers.  Happy team members result in happy customers.  Happy customers do more business with you.  They become advocates for your enterprise, which results in happy investors.  That is a win, win, win, win strategy.”