Oasis Magazine has released it’s latest magazine issue set for March 2021, featuring Dr. Brian Reuben, a Business Strategist speaking on the topic The Spirit of Strategy.
Dr Brian Reuben is a leading authority on Strategy and one of the most sought after thought leaders on the subject. Through his senior executive workshops, he has helped position several businesses to produce remarkable results even in the most challenging and turbulent business environments.
The Spirit of Strategy
Strategy is when you run out of ammunition but keep firing so the enemy won’t know.
Strategy can only be as powerful as the spirit behind it. The lack of understanding of the spirit of strategy is the missing link for most managers who are unable to deliver on their strategy. According to a study by Marakon, less than 20% of even well formulated strategies are executed successfully and, on average, firms deliver only 50% of the financial performance their strategies promise. That is why strategy is a serious issue because that is the foundation for superior performance.
That Apple makes high-quality products is a fact that is well understood. Steve Jobs not only believes in quality but he is obsessed with it. In an interview, he even insisted that it is not good enough to believe in quality products. Mr Jobs thinks companies have to approach making quality products from a scientific point of view.
This means understanding the reason behind making quality products. For most organizations, this thinking is not well understood and even in cases where the most senior managers understand it, that understanding is usually a luxury not everyone in the company can enjoy.
But that’s a very big mistake. Strategy defines a company’s unique approach to competition. The motivation behind this approach is what I call the spirit of the Strategy. This spirit of strategy is what gives life to the strategy. The Organization that wins is the organisation in which everybody has a shared understanding of the motivation behind their approach to business.
You see, Apple didn’t take a premium approach to competition for the fun of it or by a desire to make more money. The premium approach was rooted in the founder’s obsession with quality. One wonders if this was why his exit from the company had it crumbling until they brought him back. I believe that Mr Jobs deep commitment to quality was the strength of the company and the keeper of their strategy.
Consider Mr Job’s advice to Mark Zuckerberg. In the early days of Facebook when it appeared, they have hit the wall and many people were offering to buy Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg went to ask Steve Jobs for advice on what the right move should be. Steve Jobs simply emphasized on the need to reconnect with the mission of the company. He advised Mr Zuckerberg to set out time, break away from the noise to focus and gain clarity on the purpose of Facebook.
Mark travelled to India and for a month meditated and travelled through the country. Seeing how people connected, and having the opportunity to feel how much better the world could be if everyone has a strong ability to connect reinforced for him the importance of what they were doing at Facebook.
Mark returned from the trip, rejected all the offers for the company and committed to pushing on with his mission to “connect the world. The rest is history; Facebook is one of the most successful companies in the world. It was not just about a great strategy but a commitment to something bigger than monetary gains.
This post is an excerpt from the Oasis Magazine March Feature
Oasis Magazine | Africa’s Business and Entrepreneurship Magazine.