quinta-feira, novembro 03, 2011

Acerca do que não é "estratégia"

Excelente artigo "So, you think you have a strategy?" de Freek Vermeulen.
Os teóricos que estão sempre prontos para amaldiçoar os empresários portugueses não perdem nada em ler o artigo e em perceber que o mesmo não foi escrito a pensar nesses patrões. E, no entanto, a vida não é um mar de rosas lá fora.
"Most companies do not have a strategy.
when it comes to strategy, I’d say there are three types of CEOs:
  • Those who think they have a strategy — they are the most abundant
  • Those who pretend to think that they have a strategy, but deep down are really hesitant because they fear they don’t actually have one (and they’re probably right) — these are generally quite a bit more clever than those in the first category, but, alas, are fewer in number
  • Those who do have a strategy — there are preciously few of them, but they often head very successful companies
I often wonder why such bright CEOs and their deputies miss the most basic necessities of cogent and executable strategy. They fail because they:

  • Are not really making choices Strategy, above all, is about making choices; choices in terms of what you do and what you do not do. (Moi ici: O que vamos fazer e o que não vamos fazer!!! Terry Hill, Steve Jobs e Gordon Ramsay são/foram mestres nesta necessidade de concentração no essencial. BTW, o que é que esta empresa não vai fazer?)... companies don’t concentrate; they cannot resist the temptation of also doing other things that, on an individual basis, look attractive. As a consequence, they end up with a bunch of alternate (sometimes even opposing) strategic directions that appear equally attractive but strangely enough don’t manage to turn into profitable propositions.  (Moi ici: Pena que poucos conheçam a curva de Stobachoff ou os números de Jonathan ByrnesToo many strategies lack focus.  (Moi ici: Concentração, concentração, concentração no que é essencial!!!)
  • Are stuck in the status quo Another variant of this is the straightjacket of path dependency, meaning that companies write up their strategy in such a way that everything fits into what they were already doing anyway. This is much like generating a to-do list of activities you have already completed. Last year. There might be nothing wrong with sticking with the tried and true, if it so happens that what you were doing represents a powerful, coherent set of activities that propels your company forward. Regrettably, more often than not, strategies adapted to what you were doing anyway results in some vague, amorphous marketplace statement that would have been better off in a beginners’ class on esoteric poetry, because it is meaningless and does not imply any real decision about what needs to be done in order to be a vital company in the next one to three years. (Moi ici: Falta-lhes espírito de matador, espírito assertivo... são como os treinadores de futebol que tentam tirar pressão de cima da equipa. Lembro-me sempre das fotocópias que Mourinho colou no balneário do FC Porto - para aumentar a pressão sobre os jogadores!!!) ...
  • Have no relationship to value creation Sometimes companies make some decisive choices, but it is wholly unclear why these choices would do the enterprise any good. Strategy is not just about making choices; executives need a good explanation why these choices are going to create the company a heck of a lot of value. (Moi ici: Só os escolhidos é que falam de valor, os outros falam de preço, de custos, de competição, de benchmark, de... Os eleitos pensam na vida, na experiência de uso na vida dos clientes.) Without such logic, I cannot call this line of thinking a strategy at all. ...
  • Are mistaking objectives for strategy We want to be number one or two in all the markets we operate in. Ever heard that one? I think it is bollocks. ... but the real question is how. We want to be number one or two in the market; we want to grow 50 per cent next year; we want to be the world’s pre-eminent business school — and so on. These are goals, possibly very good and lofty ones, but in terms of amounting to a strategy, they do not. You need an actionable idea and a rationale — a strategy — of how you are going to achieve all this. Without a true plan of action, lofty goals are but a tantalising aspiration.
  • Keep it a secret The final mistake I have seen, scarily common, as to why CEOs who think they have a strategy don’t actually have one (despite circumventing all of the above pitfalls) is because none of their lower-ranked employees actually know about it. A strategy only becomes a strategy if people in the organisation alter their behaviour as a result of it. ... A good litmus test is to simply ask around: if people within the organisation do not give you the same coherent story of how the company is to prosper in the future, chances are it does not have a strategy, no matter how colourful the Powerpoint slides. These slides may fade in powerfully on the projection screen, but (in the marketplace) they fade out into strategic oblivion."

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