The 10 best ways to kill a firm… or a career!

To be the best, you need a killer strategy. And to achieve one, it would come in handy to know what it is! Indeed, way too often, strategies are mistaken for tactics, strategic planning is underestimated, and people spend useful time fixing tiny mistakes, while they should be focusing on the bigger picture: an overall flawed strategy!

There are obviously several ways a strategy (or lack thereof) can kill a business, but Steve Tobak, BNET contributor and strategic consultant, narrowed it down to ten:

  1. The “hope” strategy: It will take you nowhere to hope that your competition messes up, or that your own faults remain concealed.
  2. Strategy du jour: Changing your strategy all the time, based on weak evidence or simple mood swings is bound to be damaging to your company.
  3. The Peanut Butter Strategy: A company spreading itself too thin across all the opportunities it wants to capture may end up failing everywhere.
  4. Dumb and Dumber: Having team members who are ALL incompetent in certain areas of your business may lead to a company lacking competitive edge in those domains.
  5. Grandiose vision: Contrarily to what you may think, a too grandiose strategy may cause a company to be faced to several smaller competitors who excel in their own disciplines.
  6. The Pasta Strategy: Basically, just throwing resources into all kinds of different project to see what sticks.
  7. If we build it, they will come: Far, far too many businesses are so focused on their product that they forget to ask themselves if there is a demand for it at all, or how they will position and market it if they do launch it.
  8. The Stay In course Strategy: The attitude of staying hung up on a strategy, when it should have been abandoned a long time ago.
  9. Seeking strategic alternatives: Publicly hiring a bank to sell a company or to break it up is guaranteed to do one thing- keep all investors at bay, and destroy any shareholder value left.
  10.  Having a great idea but a bad execution: An originally brilliant idea suffering from a bad implementation may turn out to be a blow to the company.

Avoiding all these mistakes may not guarantee you success, but it will sure save you a lot of wasted resources, and may put you on the path to having a killer strategy!

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