According to Cynthia Montgomery, the key responsibility of a strategist as a leader is to act as an operator and a voice of reason. In addition, a strategist should provide a sense of meaning to a company.
We will write a custom Coursework on How Strategists Lead a Company specifically for you
301 certified writers online
A strategist, as a meaning maker, should give a definition of the future outlook of an organization, and the benefits future changes would bring to customers. A strategist, as a meaning maker, is also expected to make critical choices that will shape the identity of a company.
The choices made by a strategic leader, should define the purpose of the company, future prospects, and the strategies put in place to attract, and retain customers. A strategist should also recognize the fact that after all is done; the leader of a company normally takes responsibility for all the decisions made.
As voices of reason, strategists should have the vision, boldness, and confidence required to bring innovation, and set their companies towards achieving new goals. Confidence, in particular, plays a central role when it comes to leadership and strategy. However, strategists should take caution so that their confidence does not turn into overconfidence.
Strategists, as voices of reason, should understand the competitive forces within their industry, and how these forces affect their operations in areas where there is competition. They should also understand the chances of their plans succeeding under such circumstances.
Montgomery gives an example of the furniture manufacturing industry as one that has been fragmented by competition, which has resulted in low returns. Competitors in this industry kill innovation, and discourage customers by manufacturing products that greatly vary in terms of design. One of the ways of dealing with such extreme competition is to employ strategy in creating new economic model and niche in the industry.
Leaders become voices of reason, when courageous strategies to redesign forces within an industry, do not become a bother to them.
Strategists, as operators, should act as a link between the central plans in a business, market economics, and action. They should not be dreamers or propagators of arrogant ideas. An effective strategy should be based on clarity and pragmatic ideas, and steered by a leader with operational sensibility.
Strategists, as operators, should also infuse their strategies with execution. Montgomery cites the Gucci Group as an example of a company that integrated its strategies and execution, in order to deal with poor sales and increased losses. The new chief executive of the Gucci Group used a pragmatic approach in tackling this problem by examining sales data.
The sales data provided Gucci executives with consumption trends that enabled Gucci to align its products with the taste and preferences of its consumers. In addition, Gucci developed an integrated manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and pricing strategies that boosted its sales.
A well conceived strategy, according to Montgomery, will smoothly transit into execution, and strategy can never be separated from execution. In order for a company to meet its goals, strategists should view themselves as operators.
Lastly, strategist should know that attaining and keeping strategic momentum in a company is a challenging, and a never ending task. Most leaders in the corporate world will at some point in their career be faced with the pressure of changing the strategies used by their companies.
Leaders, who are strategists, will find the process of overhauling a company’s strategies to be rewarding. The process can be a struggle to leaders who lack strategic visions.