Strategy: understanding the word

Rafidah IMG_1064

Two weeks ago, both Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences and Asia Metropolitan University Senior Management teams took some time off for a management retreat. Leadership development, Strategy review or Management retreat. Whatever you may call these workshops one thing was clear, the use of the word Strategy. Sceptics say the word strategy is the most used, misused or abused word.

Yet, gurus like Michael Porter argue for Strategy to gain a competitive advantage. They say it is not operational excellence but Strategy that determines the success of your business. There are also arguments for culture. Yet, the fact that for strategy to succeed you need a FIT with activities is an unshakeable truth. Strategy is a choice – what you do and what you don’t do. It is all about doing things differently to deliver superior value, a unique value proposition. Differentiation is key. Implementation is taking action.

At the retreat Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Former Malaysian Minister of International Trade articulated the need for inspiring leadership. Strategy implementation expert Robin Speculand emphasised the need for executional leadership. Sanjeev Nanavathy, former CEO of Citibank Malaysia emphasised the need for managing change and Dato Razif, former CEO of SME Bank articulated the need for metrics to manage strategy implementation. Robin explained that while strategy is done above the shoulders, tactics is about below the shoulders. A good strategy is one that focusses everyone’s energy and resources, on the ‘AHA’ moments and provides for coherent action.

Two great references