Author: Jay Kuhn, Process Plus VP Business Development & Strategy
October 14, 2013
“Strategy is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. Strategy is important because the resources available to achieve these goals are usually limited.”
I have spent time with various industry leaders throughout my career, whether it be through networking, business meetings and conferences or my superiors. One thing that has amazed me about the best of leaders is their ability to understand two key points of strategy: 1) Limited Resources, and 2) Conditions of Uncertainty.
Long ago, someone at Process Plus realized we have limited resources: Time, People, Cash, Knowledge. In order to maximize those limited resources we have consistently focused on pushing them all towards the industries within which we are already known: Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Food/Beverage. Since we have been applying all of our resources towards things we are already good at, an amazing thing has happened…We’ve gotten even better at them!
How many times have you seen an organization that was good at many things, but not really great at anything? You typically find that these organizations spread their limited resources too thin and it prevents them from being “great” at anything. This can eventually prove detrimental.
Conditions of Uncertainty; It’s a part of business. The days of a 5-10 year plan are gone. I have found the most important part of developing a strategy is maintaining a focus on the customer satisfaction process. This focus allows you to align your company’s mission, vision and values with what’s expected from your customers. This helps to minimize uncertainty.
In the service business, the product is driven by the plans of your customers. Delivery methods, timeframes, locations, and other items are all driven by the business plans of your customers. If you lock into these methods too deeply and the customers dictate a need to change those methods, you’re stuck. There are items you can control in your business: talent, quality methods, and how you treat your employees. And there are, of course, items you cannot control; in those circumstances, you have to be nimble enough to react to the needs of the customer and the uncertainty of their business models. Strategy is never an exact science, but I believe in order to be successful in it, you must realize you have limited resources and only try to control what’s controllable in your business.
1. Strategy. (2013, September 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:23, October 10, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Strategy&oldid=572573571.