Does your company’s strategy produce products and services that customers really want – and that also generate profitable business?
Without a strategy that works, the company is adrift as its operations are inconsistent. The purpose of a strategy is to help the company understand what is happening in its operating environment and what actions it can take to achieve maximum success. But what are the prerequisites for effective strategy work?
Good strategy work is user-centric
In strategy work, it is particularly important to understand that successful innovation arises only by carefully listening to the customer’s needs and wishes. If the customer has no need for the product or service offered by the company, no business can be created. Any company, large or small, needs a strategy built to meet the core needs of its users.
The focus must be on the future and the trends that will be prevalent there. By understanding the forces that shape our operating environment and the evolving needs of the customer in this changing world, the company can build the right solutions and refine its strategy to support them.
A common stumbling block is to start developing innovation on top of already invented technology. The brainstorming of a solution must start from a user-centred, clean slate, and only after this should the necessary technologies be included.
Inclusive strategy work pays off
Above all, the strategy should make doing business consistent for both employees and other stakeholders. A well-constructed strategy guides the company to focus the available resources, such as personnel and money, on the right activities.
Of course, the implementation of the strategy will go better in practice when the whole organisation feels ownership of it. The more the people are engaged in strategic planning, the more they will understand the importance of the strategy and its impact on their own work. Inclusion leads to self-direction: Everyone knows what needs to be done and what decisions need to be made. Strategy could be described as a recipe or a handbook, which you can turn to over and over again, regardless of whether you are making a decision or solving a problem in the company.
Senior management must be strongly committed to strategic planning, but they should also have access to all the wisdom required for successful user-oriented strategy work. This includes, for example, in-depth business understanding, the expertise of sales people, product development expertise, and the purchasing organisation’s perspective.
Moreover, in order to ensure that the strategy is not left distant or too theoretical for anyone, as many people and departments as possible should be involved in the strategic planning. By unchaining the brainstorming and letting people come up with ideas, the company makes its strategy relevant to its entire organisation. Bringing the views of people from different areas of expertise together creates not only commitment, but also a broad user understanding, since everyone always looks at things from a slightly different perspective.
Strategy work is not about whose idea wins but about ensuring that customer understanding and user-orientation prevail. In this case, there are also no grounds for potential resistance to change in the strategy work, as it is about the core needs of business enablers, that is, the users of a product or service.
The implementation of the strategy in every area of business and clear communication supporting this are essential in building the company’s brand. The strategy should therefore support the company’s own values, which distinguish it from other players in the field. A successful strategy and its consistent implementation throughout the organisation create authenticity.
ED Design develops innovative and feasible solutions for its customers with a user-centred approach. We start by observing the core needs of the users and shape them into radical business opportunities. We do not leave design at the level of an idea but take your innovation through the whole product development project to implementation. Contact ED Design!