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What exactly is strategy?

Few people understand what strategy actually means.

A course of action, which if well implemented, will give you a unique advantage over the competition is strategy.

For example, most audit firms strategy is attain 80% revenue from consulting business and 20% from assurance (external audit work). Whereas there is money in auditing work, the fee note is usually restricted to utmost Ugx. 60 million (US $22,000). In Uganda, just like world over, external audit work is done to fulfill regulatory/ compliance requirements. The perception of value added is small! Successful audit firms get most of their revenue from consulting. They keep audit/ assurance services for the assured annual revenue and to sustain the firm since consulting work tend to be uncertain.

The strategy

If their current revenue mix is say 40% from Audit or assurance services and 60% from consulting services (advisory, risk, governance, IT security, et), their strategy may be to attain 80% from consulting in the next 4 years. In effect, they will put more resources to consulting by investing more resources in training, systems and capability improvement. That consistent action to ensure consulting revenue is higher is what is called strategy.

As you can see, your strategy does not have to be 20-80 pages of a research paper! Just 1 page as your strategy does the magic.

Then you may need another 10-30 pages of clear implementation plan – that aligns your strategy to your structure. If you are a balanced score card folk, we can align your strategy to the BSC performance dimensions of FLIC – financial, learning & growth, innovation or internal business processes and customer – so that you have clear variables to monitor your progress towards attaining your strategy.

Sounds great?

Don’t make your strategy a research paper. It should be short. Simple and to the point.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa. 2014 All rights reserved.

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