Insight

What is Living Strategy, and Why Do You Need One?

Robert Burns famously warned that the “best laid schemes” of mice and men often don’t work out as planned. I think about that quote a lot these days, as I see former giants continue to crumble, disrupted and displaced by newer, nimble business models.

What got you here won’t get you there

Companies have always had to pay attention to their industry, their consumers, and new technology, and formulate strategies to stay ahead. But they can’t take the same approach they have taken in the past. Things are moving too quickly. When you consider the prediction that 40% of the Fortune 500 may no longer exist in the next 10 years, it should be clear that companies can’t operate the same way they always have and expect to thrive.

What companies have done for decades is put together a strategy, which is their best guess for how to achieve their vision for where they want to go. They have done that at planning meetings once a year—built 3-5 year strategies, gone out and tried to execute to that strategy, then met up again at the end of the year to see how they performed against their goals, tweaking their approach if needed.

This approach to strategy doesn’t work anymore. The world is moving way too fast to have a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. Those best-laid plans have to be adaptive, data-driven, and able to pivot. The bottom line is that in this time of massive disruption, companies can no longer afford to have strategy be an annual activity. Instead, companies must experiment with, test, and assess their strategies constantly.

Living Strategy for certain results

This is why we have developed what we call Living Strategy at BeyondCurious. This approach is absolutely adapted to the pace of disruption. Using this approach, our clients are constantly testing and refining their strategy as they get more data and information about their customers, solution, and the marketplace.

Living Strategy has a few key components:

  • Experimentation: A living strategy is embodied in a prototye. Our agile approach to digital transformation means we are developing smaller aspects of an experience in minimal viable products that we can bring out to actual customers, experimenting, and learning.
  • Evaluation: It’s a Living Strategy because it’s active. After embodying the strategy and experimenting with MVPs or prototypes, we test and evaluate against key KPI’s.
  • Evolution: The data we gather in evaluation is critical to rapid evolution of your product set because it helps to refine and evolve your embodied strategy.

 

Connect the dots and achieve your goals

Living Strategy is part of how we are able to be both agile and focused. It’s an incredibly effective de-risking approach, because you’re constantly gathering real data to help inform decisions. Agile methodologies sometimes get a bad rap because the talk of constant pivoting and evolution can make it hard for clients to feel certainty that there will be an endpoint. But experimenting with, evaluating, and evolving a Living Strategy gives clients a path—backed by data—that ensures they will achieve their goals.

The Living Strategy approach is tailor-made to address a rapidly shifting market. Living Strategy is a barometer that is constantly assessing data and evaluating what that data means, connecting the dots, and making sure that you don’t lose your way—providing clarity, setting direction, and ensuring success.

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