Strategy Statements

Are all Company Strategies the Same?

 

From her company blog, Nora Ghaoui shares a two-part series that examines the strategy statements of large companies and explains why strategy writing often results in generic statements.

By the time a large company has finished its strategic planning cycle, it ends up with strategy statements that could apply to any company. The same phrases show up every time.  Why is that?  Do great minds think alike, are people running out of ideas, or are market trends forcing them in the same direction?  Before we get into the causes, let’s look at the strategies.

A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin, in their book Playing to Win, emphasise that strategy is a set of five choices: the company’s winning aspiration, where it will play, how it will win, its capabilities, and its management systems.  Their expectation is that a successful company has a unique right to win.

Similarly, Michael Porter’s famous article “What is Strategy?” states: “Competitive strategy is about being different.  It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.”

Can we see these principles at work in company strategies today?  What do the company strategy statements say?  For now, let’s take these as correct representations of the company’s actual strategies.

 

The subject of strategy statements include:

  • Objectives
  • Where to play and how to win
  • Capabilities and systems

 

Read the full article, Do large companies have the same strategy?, on the Veridia website.