On the choices in a strategy
July 07, 2015
Strategy is all about how we achieve a mission.
It is about the choices on the road to fulfilment1.
Each choice must have a rationale, a justification to back it up. In addition to looking at the choices in their local decision context, we must also weigh-in them together. Sum of the choices must lead us to the desired state.
In that way, it makes sense to go all in for the win in some areas, and in some other areas, we have to let go.
Letting go doesn’t mean we drop the existing customers in those areas in mid ocean. Neither does letting go mean that we lower the bar we have set for ourselves. We continue to strive to do the best in the context of that area. That is our passion.
Letting go just means that we have more chances of winning in the global context with another path, because of various reasons. May be because the other path is less explored. May be because the other path is more prevalent in the market we target for the next delivery cycle. May be the other path is where the industry is shifting to.
We have to be careful. Speaking of letting go immediately raises an alarm. Holy sh*t! my work is gone. It is de-prioritized, it is no longer relevant, it is no longer interesting, it no longer has approval.
Imagine a game of chess. Just because I play my Knight for a move doesn’t degrade the value of my Bishop, or the Queen. All the pieces are important. It is just that I have to manoeuvre them in way that gives me an advantage. That is my Strategy.
I will have to maximize on the strength, and attack the unexplored territories while guarding my King. I played the Knight because it is a closed position, my Bishop/Rook/Queen need a clear path to execute!
If I were the Queen in the board, the moment I lose context of the board and the position, I will feel sad. I have honed my skills over years, with lots of passion and that not being used in every position doesn’t make sense..
This is the place where maturity is key. We need to be objective. We need to step back, and try to fathom the global context. We need to stop being the Queen and role play the King for a moment. May be we’re just focusing on the 4 squares around us and missing rest of the board?