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Take a look at the Top 100 Best Practices in Strategy & Transformation of 2023. It covers all levels of Strategy (Corporate, Business, Product, Marketing); Planning and Execution; Transformation; and Innovation.

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In the fast-paced world of business, as Irving Wladawsky-Berger, previously Vice President of Technical Strategy and Innovation at IBM, compellingly put it, “You don’t just need a strategy for success, you need a strategy for surpassing." For C-level executives navigating today's complex competitive landscape, a Breakthrough Strategy is key to securing a dominant position and driving unprecedented growth.

Understanding Breakthrough Strategy

A Breakthrough Strategy is designed to create substantial improvements in your organization's performance by achieving significant, often disruptive, change that transcends established limits. This involves departing from the familiar and striking new paths—overriding inherent resistance and skepticism to create exceptional value for your company and its stakeholders.

Key Principles to Crafting a Breakthrough Strategy

Combining elements of Strategic Planning, Corporate Innovation, and Change Management, a Breakthrough Strategy requires a distinct approach. Let's delve into some core principles for its formulation:

  1. Establish a Clear and Compelling Vision: Breakthrough Strtegies start by defining a clear vision that creates a future that stretches the organization and engenders excitement and commitment within the workforce.
  2. Develop a Deep Understanding of the Market: Profound knowledge of the market landscape, including the competition, consumer behavior, and emerging trends, is paramount. Digital Transformation tools like big data analytics can provide beneficial insights.
  3. Encourage Innovation: Breakthrough strategies often hinge on disruptive technologies or innovative business models. Hence, fostering a culture of innovation is of utmost importance.
  4. Embed Flexibility: In a highly dynamic business environment, flexibility allows corporations to respond swiftly and capitalize on unforeseen opportunities or threats.
  5. Institute Good Governance: Executing a Breakthrough Strategy requires diligent Risk Management and Performance Management; C-level executives need to ensure good corporate governance mechanisms.

Best Practices for Breakthrough Strategy Execution

Formulating a Breakthrough Strategy is only half of the battle; execution is the real litmus test of leadership. Consider the following best practices for implementation:

Adapting to Change: The Hallmark of a Breakthrough Strategy

In embracing Breakthrough Strategy, your organization must be willing to continually adapt and improve. This means holding underlying assumptions about your business, market forces, or customer needs open to examination and ready for transformation. As Harvard professor and author, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, aptly stated, "A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more." Crafting and implementing a successful Breakthrough Strategy invites your organization to step into this larger vision, surpassing expectations and continuously setting new standards of excellence.

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