How Dare You Anticipate My Strategy?

The title of this blog was part of a gamer’s Twitter profile. But think a second ….its really appropriate for businesses.

Now I know your business has got a strategy – most businesses say they do, a slightly smaller number actually do, and an even smaller number use it to effectively engage their workforce – anyway, let’s say that you have got a strategy.

In your strategic thinking, do you plan a step or two ahead? Do you consider what your competitors are going to do as a result of your strategy and actions? And do you then think how you might react?

Or do you, like quite a few of your peers write your strategy and forget about any competitive reaction to it (until that is competitors actually react!).

I know the chess analogy is done to death, but even an averagely good chess player is thinking four or five moves ahead, both for himself and his opponent. That’s because good strategic thinking entails looking into the future; it entails thinking about potential hypotheses; it entails knowing how your competitors think; it entails considering how you will act or react to a variety of market changes or competitor actions.

Good strategic thinking entails all of this. Now this does not mean that you or your company will have considered every eventuality (How could you?). But it does mean that maybe, just maybe you are a step or two ahead of your competitors. Even a three-month advantage can have massive implications in some businesses.

Somewhere in your strategic thinking, you really have to ask yourself, “What if this happens?” “What if they do that?”

If you don’t ask that sort of question you’ll be left fuming and asking yourself “How dare you anticipate my strategy?”

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