Good strategy/bad strategy

One of the first stories about basic strategy is the one about David and Goliath.

You know – the small guy wihout any chance of winning, wins the big guy. Just when we thought that there is no idea David will win, he elegantly did. Well, that’s one feature of a good strategy – it always looks so simple and (almost) obvious and it doesn’t take heaps of ppt slides to explain it. Instead, a talented leader identifies one or two pivot points in the situation that can multiply the effectiveness of the effort. And then focuses and concentrates action and resources around them.

Good strategy means problem-solving and contains three elements: a diagnosis, guiding policy and coherent action. In advertising, it means who are you going to talk to and what are you going to say. It determines the application of advantages against weakneses. It has to be coherent – it has to create strength through the coherence of its design. But also it can create new strengths through subtle shifts of viewpoint and insightful reframing. By shifting perspective, you discover a hidden power in a situation.

Pretty easy, right? 😉

And how do we recognize a bad strategy? Bad strategy is not simply the absence of good strategy, it goes beyond that. It usually grows out specific misconception and leadership malfunctions. The bad strategy usually has a bad strategic objective, and what makes them bad is when they fail to address critical issues or when they turn out to be impracticable. The common mistake is also when we mistake goals for strategy. Many bad strategies are just statements of desire rather than plans for overcoming obstacles. A bad strategy also fails to recognize/define the challenge and – uses fluff.

Don’t use fluff to create the illusion of high-level thinking.

Remember, most genious strategies are the simplest.

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