Which Type of Corporate Strategy is the Right Fit?

By Jeff Brunings

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Which Type of Corporate Strategy is the Right Fit?

During our last two newsletters, we’ve covered how to use data to complete your SWOT analysis and provided guidelines on how you can lead 2017 with your mission statement. Now that you’ve looked at your environment and defined your core purpose, it’s time to begin developing your organization’s corporate strategy.

But, before you can dive into deciding what your strategies will be, you need decide how your strategic plan will impact your organization’s degree of shift. All plans have different outcomes, but you’ll need to decide how much your strategic plan will shift your organization.

Strategies come in three levels:

  • Incremental – Incremental strategies are intended to simply adjust your organization.
  • Substantive – Substantive strategies involve a fair bit of strategic shift, but it’s not a full pivot.
  • Transformational – Transformational strategies are used to insight huge strategic and organizational shifts.

Why is it important to assess your degree of shift before you begin planning? Different shifts will obviously require your team to think at different elevations, so you need to land this early and communicate it well within your planning team before you move into strategy development.

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Once you’ve assessed your degree of shift, you can focus on identifying your corporate strategy. Overarching, organization-wide strategies are the generic strategies that help answer the question “how will we win?”. There are three essential ways to answer this questions – you need to be outstanding in one focus and good in two others to be successful:

  • Scale – This means you’re winning because you compete on lowest total cost. Think Southwest Airlines or Walmart. You need to be differentiated and compete with price to compete well with this strategy.
  • Speed – This means you’re winning with product service leadership. For this strategy to work well, you need to be first to the market and have a solid, innovative product or service.
  • Scope – This means you’re winning because you have excellent customer intimacy. You must be dedicated to delivering the best client service while sustaining great customer relationships.

Let’s reiterate the point from above because it’s critical for successful organization-wide strategies– your organization needs to be outstanding in one of these types of generic strategies and good in the other two for success.

Trying to be outstanding in all three will exhaust your resources and be counter-productive. Each contribute to your success, but differentiation and excellence in one area will allow you to grow and thrive.

Watch our video on corporate level strategy to review this information and learn about how you can identify your growth strategies.



Jeff Brunings

With over 20 years management experience in multi-industry environments, Jeff drives customer experience by advancing the effectiveness of OnStrategy’s cloud-based platform and services.

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