Old Strategic Methods Aren’t Relevant

by Jay Deragon on 10/19/2012

Markets have dramatically changed and thus old strategic thinking and related methods are no longer relevant to the market. They simply don’t work anymore.

In an Article titled Transparency is the new marketing Clay Shirky writes “When organizations think about strategy, it’s often in the context of their own objectives. But when the surrounding reality changes—as it is doing in the media landscape—both strategy and goals need to adjust. The disgruntled can now organize, publish, and protest on their own, without using any professional media outlet. Until recently organizations of all stripes were better able to get their messages into the media than any motley groups of individuals. That is no longer true, because two critical organizational advantages—the ability to coordinate group effort and to coordinate group access to the means of publishing—are now ubiquitous, global, and free.”

So Now How Should You Think?

Creating a road map of how your organization will succeed is more about learning to think differently than following any specific strategic process. Customer satisfaction is no longer enough organizations must think about exceeding customer expectations. To learn how to exceed expectations means one has to throw out all previous understandings of satisfaction. Satisfaction is no longer a differential rather it is the foundation for winners to understand how to exceed expectations.

Today communications, once contained and throttled, are free flowing and transparent for everyone to see and hear. Whether a disgruntled customer, an unpaid supplier or an unhappy employee those sentiments and the experiences that created them are in real-time and propagated to and through  everyone.  Anything placed on the web enters the digital library and the more conversations that reference your business the more visible it is to Google, the universal library. The higher the visibility the easier it will be found by others. Both unsatisfied and delighted market sentiment are easily found.

When you consider that 80% of a companies value is driven by intangible assets while 20% comes from tangible assets you begin to understand what has been missing. Intangible assets are things like culture, experiences, conversations and the knowledge contained inside the hearts and minds of the people. Old strategic development methods leaned more on tangible assets used to create competitive differential and market share.

Today the strategic difference between one company and another rest in the organizations ability to optimize intangible assets. Old strategic methods do not effectively address the intangibles thus the methods aren’t relevant for businesses to succeed in the Social Era.

In order to understand the relevancy of shifting from managing the tangibles to the intangibles leaders must change the way they think. That requires a new understanding of how to think.


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