The word ‘strategy’ may seem like a huge concept, yet it ultimately concerns each and everybody.

Parents envisioning raise of their children in the best way, should develop a strategy! So as, the grocery store struggling to survive next to a supermarket… As well as an organization wanting to increase the motivation and efficiency of its employees… Also, an entrepreneur trying to balance the cash flow… Plus, the University that racks its brain to develop a partnership with the industry… While an employer in manufacturing industry searching for ways to establish a sales and marketing network… Also, a company trying to understand how to take advantage and incorporate new concepts such as cloud computing, social media and mobile world… Not to forget a business owner trying to figure out which market to go and how to position its brand… And the press industry considering how to adapt to change in a world where everybody has become a potential writer due to internet, blogs and social media…

Strategy is the roadmap of a country, organization, and even an individual.

Strategy involves identification of alternatives as to the future and realization of them. It requires to dream how to build the ‘future’ and set goals and objectives as to how to position oneself in that ‘future’. Developing options and making choices; in itself requires giving up on something. It helps you determine how to realize your choices and observe how close you are to your objectives.

Coca-Cola, which came to life in 1886 as a ‘delicious and revitalizing’ beverage at Jacobs’ Pharmacy, has absolutely made many choices and given up on too many things during its ‘journey of strategy’ whether it still will fulfill its promise of ‘happiness’ in its 125th year of establishment. What about Disney? Starting his career by designing cartoon heroes… What choices did he have to make or give up reaching the promise of ‘differentiated entertainment’ for today’s world? Over the years, how has Google, which set out as a search engine, become a data space in which all kinds of ‘information’ can be produced?

Giving up, in terms of focusing the energy correctly, is just as important as doing something new.

Whilst it may on one hand look like you are giving up when you pull out from low-profit or low potential businesses, transfer complex operations or inefficient businesses to more experienced business people, develop different service channels for unprofitable Customers; on the other hand, it means to enhance new solutions for your business.

According to optimistic estimates by the scientific community, within 20-30 years, one-fifth of the world’s species are in danger of extinction. We hope that some studies in biology, ecology and medicine will contribute to the sustainability of all living creatures. What will be our share, as human beings, in giving up? Reducing carbon emissions, using energy and water efficiently, stopping forest and animal slaughter, healthy and natural nutrition… All Right! What are our strategies as human beings?

Strategy development consists of ‘logical’ processes which are to understand the current situation, determine objectives, develop options, make choices, make decisions, plan actions, determine goals, realize and review them all. On the other hand, it also includes ‘conscious choices’ to differentiate and add value depending on the market realities, trends and competition. We should accurately evaluate the interrelation, adequacy, necessity i.e. the ‘consistency’ of our choices, strategies and related actions and how they will lead us to our ultimate goal.

For example, a country, having an objective of being among the major world economies, should have clear and consistent strategies on basic issues such as increasing the production; observing the export/import balance; overcoming structural problems; remodeling the mind and brain of the young generation with science and reasoning skills; making all individuals, men and women, add value to production and economy. Industry, trade, energy, IT, education, health, tourism, agriculture… all industries need to adapt and realize consistent strategies and policies so that the ultimate goal can truly be achieved. It is obvious that the journey will occasionally be a road with curves, irregularities, fluctuations and uncertainty.

From time to time, some fine tunings will be necessary, but always towards the direction of the ultimate goal!


Release: SME-EFOR June 2012