But what makes a strategy successful? In our experience, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. But even so, some common elements of successful strategic action can be identified:
- Successful strategies are always customised, in other words: they are formulated for a specific company in a specific environment.
- The concept and its implementation are two sides of the same coin. They are mutually dependent. A good concept, badly implemented, is worthless; implementation without any concept at best makes use of routines and past ideas.
- Good implementation means consistently anchoring the strategy throughout the organisation.
Neben diesen grundsätzlichen Bedingungen finden sich häufig folgende Themengebiete in Strategiekonzepten:
- Market innovation: in addition to technological innovation this also includes innovative services or product-market combinations
- Market expansion: entering new growth markets or optimising one's position in established markets
- Consolidation: usually through acquisitions or disinvestment
- Value chain: redefinition both vertically and horizontally by breaking up existing steps in the value chains and joining them together in a different way
- Business portfolio: optimisation – especially from a risk and results perspective – with "specialisation" and "diversification" as the extremes
Not all of the preceding themes have to be included in a strategy. Often combinations or isolated aspects are included. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to the specific formulations in the various categories, despite what the latest management fads may suggest. It is safe to assume that strategies have to be company-specific.