Strategy is the third of my three words for 2011. Previously, I’ve written in greater depth about both customers and content. Strategy is developed by listening to customers and understanding where the pain points are in their business. Then, we create solutions that fix or remove altogether those pain points.
Why does strategy matter?
Strategy is your playbook. Imagine trying to prepare a team for the Super Bowl without having a playbook. Instead of being the game plan, it’s the playbook that defines all the tools and options you have at your disposal. You need solid strategies before you can engage in useful and meaningful planning.
Strategy is the view from 30,000 feet. It’s the big picture understanding of a solution that works across the supply chain. Strategy makes you stop thinking about functional silos and instead think about the entire process at one time. When possible, look for solutions with a good fit to the knowledge skills and abilities you already have, or you can at least look for interim solutions you can deliver while you acquire additional resources.
Strategy forces you to think big. It opened my eyes to the fact that printers don’t really like color. Color is a problem for them. An over-arcing supply-chain color strategy will fix that. The plan is to demystify color for all the players. Make it transparently simple for everyone to work with color so that when it gets to the printer, the information is correct and easily accessible.
Understanding the strategies that drive ColorMetrix and JimRaffel.com allows me to focus on the content I create. It allows me to make sure the content is structured, meaningful and useful in conveying our strategies to customers.
When a coach is getting his team ready to play the Super Bowl, he probably starts by looking at the playbook and seeing which plays match up well against his opponent. That’s pretty much where he has to start. The playbook is what he has to work with, unless he wants to develop new plays. See how you strategy is basically your playbook?
What does your playbook for 2011 look like?