Larry Pendergrass has been a leader in the high tech industry for over 30 years, with 17 years in management and 14 years in science and engineering, working for companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies, Keithley Instruments and Tektronix. He has worked in a wide range of industries such as Semiconductors and other Discrete Devices, Materials Research, Test and Measurement, Wireless, Medical Products and Software. His experience spans a diverse set of technologies such as Electronics, Optics, Acoustics and Magnetics. He has spent much of his career in Research and Development, but has also worked many years in Manufacturing and Marketing. learn more
As I stated in my previous blog Ten Tenets of Strategy – Introduction and Tenet #1, there is no absolute right strategy for your firm. But there may be one that is a best fit considering all other constraints. Determining the “best fit strategy” is a matter of understanding the industry forces, trends in the marketplace, your competitors’ strategies, your firm’s strengths and weaknesses and the passion that drives your value-creation engine. With these assets and constraints in mind, your firm can set a direction and build competencies for a business that can be defended and expanded upon over the long term.
Through years of personal experience and discussions with key thought leaders, I have crystalized the following Ten Tenets as guidance for the development of your strategy.
The right strategy, even in a mediocre industry can make you a winner. And the wrong one can make your life unbearable. Far more important than any specific service or product you offer is how you choose to compete. Strategy is the collection of decisions that you make that defines your firm’s unique value to the customer. It determines how you will return value to your stakeholders. And it is at least as much about what you will not do, as it is about what you will do.
Corporate strategy can include high level choices such as whether to compete on cost, performance or customer intimacy, which segments of the market to pursue, what parts of the value chain to emphasize and many other critical decisions. Product or service strategy is one step more detailed, encompassing choices on which products and services you offer and how to outmaneuver the competition with specifics about those offerings.