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10 Characteristics of good business strategy

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

The following quote is attributed to the famous military strategist Sun Tzu: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

Apply this concept to your business. A business venture without a proper strategic plan is doomed to failure. But how do you build an effective strategic plan?

The following are 10 characteristics of a good business strategy:

1. Acknowledge the challenges

The first step in addressing any challenge is honestly acknowledging the challenges faced.

2. Choices have focus and coordination.

This means that the resources work well together and all “pull in the same direction”. This improves both effectiveness and efficiency

3. Understand risk.

A strategic plan should address risks faced by the organisation by identifying both the likelihood and impact of the risk. As an example, even though the risk of a critical incident is low, the high potential impact of the critical incident should result in the business adopting measures to address the risk.

4. Identifying actions associated with choices.

A good strategic plan develops coherent actions to give realisation to the choices. Simply put, a plan without coherent actions is going nowhere.

5. Learning to say no.

A good strategic plan is as much about saying no to a wide variety of actions that have the potential to dilute its impact – it is about making trade-offs between what will be done and what won’t be, i.e. spending money and effort on the activities most likely to bring sustained success.

6. Focused actions.

A good strategic plan focuses on a clearly defined desired outcome that can be realised by the business

7. Reduces complexity.

A good strategic plan provides structure to understand the business’s environment, as a result reducing complexity

8. Identifies points of leverage.

A good strategic plan identifies key strengths or industry changes that may be used to achieve its objectives

9. Understand the why.

Understanding the “why” provides a basis to rally people behind the business objectives, is the start of building a high-performance culture

10. The strategy can adapt

A good business strategy is not fixed but is able to adapt to a changing environment and changes in the business.

Need help undertaking effective, adaptive strategy? Try our strategic planning and management web application, ChoiceWyze for free or contact us at or +27 87 0929 286

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