There have been many answers to the question “What is Strategy?” over the years. If you ask a soldier, a politician, a revolutionary and a businessman you will get a different answer and a totally different set of methods that you can use.
What is Strategy?
A soldier will answer the question “What is strategy?” He will refer to maps, campaigns, enemy concentrations and have a preference for battles of annihilation or manoeuvre.
Politicians answer questions of “What is strategy?” with reference to ideology, party, campaigns and the will of the people. Revolutionaries quote Marx, Lenin and dialectical materialism.
A businessman when asked “What is strategy?” will report memories of Porter, Hamel, Drucker and Peters. He may also complain that many strategies deliver poor, minimal or unexpected results driven by management fads.
Each of these has some truth. Most strategies will be locally dependent. They will be fixed by context and time to have little or no relevance, except as inspiration to those who follow after.
Strategy is How to Get Power
A better approach is to define strategy as:
Strategy is how to get power
This is a simple and easy to understand definition. Soldiers want power over their enemies, the enemy country, its people and its government. Politicians want something similar and power over their own people and politician opponents. Revolutionaries want power over the old order. Businessmen want control over money and the means of production.
Power Has Different Meanings
Every group sees power differently. Power is strongly associated with what the group sees as important. The Spanish conquistadors saw God as a source of power. The Aztecs did not. Both saw blood as a source of power. The one i human sacrifices. The other in a metaphorical sacrifice.
Power is measured in dollars, sex appeal, control over people, territory and resources, status and sales.
Power is Not Trivial
This strategic power is not trivial. It is not about the power of a toddler who screams his rage and frustration to compel his mother’s compliance.
Strategy happens when it is worthwhile expending considerable effort to determine the outcomes of decisions or actions.
The toddler, in the above example, does not weigh the benefits of screaming vs non-screaming before he lets rip. Similarly its rare to have a strategy on whether to pay for car parking. The effort required normally significantly outweighs the benefits of achieving a state of power
Why is this relevant to businessmen and women? Normally we don’t think of business in terms of power relationships. We think about how to achieve sales. We talk about how to make a campaign successful. These are limited goals. Robert Greene is clear in his book “The 48 Laws of Power” that people shy away from considering what they do as an expression of power.
Strategy Help You Get More Power
This means that many businesses leave much of it on the table.
Strategy helps businesses to get more power.
Power in that case comes from other businesses – when you are entering a crowded and competitive market. When you are entering a market with a new product category, creating the market, power comes from consumers.
Strategy is the process of discovering how you can transfer power from others to you. It’s not a zero sum game.
“What is strategy?” Is the question that you have to ask first. The next question is “What is my strategy?” And that is where I can help you. Set up an appointment for an initial consultation to start discovering how you can maximise your power.
Denis identified a great new path to exponentially grow my business
Denis helped me explore my current business strategy and opened my eyes to a great potential path to dramatically grow my business. Insightful and honest, he provided great perspective that’s sure enhance my business success.
Denis has been a tremendous help!
He’s extremely knowledgeable across key areas of building a business, which allowed him to see, explain and guide me through a “glass ceiling” the business was coming up against.
I didn’t have the experience to fully understand the problem beforehand, but Denis helped clarify it to me and provided actionable steps to gather data and analyse it. To help me make the best decision with the full information.
Thank you very much Denis, I really appreciate your time and expertise with this.
Denis is an archetypal ‘out of the box’ thinker
Denis is an archetypal ‘out of the box’ thinker – in fact he is never in the box. Give him a tried and tested way of doing things that everyone uses, and he will come up with something new – and better! Ask him a question, and he will start by telling you the question you really should have asked. His energy is seemingly limitless, but he doesn’t waste it and is ruthlessly focused on what he is really trying to achieve. I would recommend Denis to anyone as a trustworthy, hardworking and inspirational business partner.
Denis is definitely an out-of-the-box thinker and very results oriented
Have known Denis for over 2 years now and have seen him work with reputable startups from different industries and suffice to say since his involvement, they have all achieved huge successes. We’ve discussed how we could improve day-to-day operations, sales strategies and even online reputation management over at my own company, MyBump Media — and received unique and priceless take-aways from our discussions. Denis is definitely an out-of-the-box thinker and very results oriented.
Denis’s consistently focused on the key elements of the business
Denis steered the company from a struggling enterprise to a thriving player. The company had tricky relationships both on the supplier-side and internally and internal processes which were very labour intensive and time consuming. Growth required a clear core-market focus, the careful establishment of key alliances and the automation of internal delivery processes. Denis’s consistent focus on the key elements of the business has left it on a sure footing for yet more growth.
Would highly recommend to anyone needing strategy advice
Denis has the unique ability to quickly give you not only a succinct strategy but the right one. He’s not only passionate about helping start-ups he is generous in giving both his time and knowledge. Would highly recommend to anyone needing strategy advice and actionable ideas that work.
Denis Improved our Performance in Almost Every Respect
Denis took over management of Oakley Steel in 2012. He made a lot of changes to the business and these improved our performance in almost every respect. More leads meant more sales. Better focus meant more sales and lower costs. Process improvements cut time, wastage and errors. The productivity gains were immense.
He’s really good to work with because he’s hugely optimistic, has loads of energy and his passion for whatever he’s doing shines through. Amazing!
He’s Someone That Can Be Depended On To Step Up and Deliver
Denis has always shown me that he’s a passionate person and because of this and his sensitive and compassionate desire to help others he’s someone that can be depended on to step up and deliver an idea, a complete solution or just some kind words of encouragement that can really work for you. He’s certainly helped me on numerous occasions and I’m sure he can help others in a similar way.
He is a broad thinker and strong on initiative to drive results.
Denis was able to motivate a diverse group of people to create a business resilience plan for a large complex division. This was despite a great deal of change taking place at the same time. He is a broad thinker and strong on initiative to drive results.
Denis is Like a Jedi Master Who Thinks Like a Sith
Denis is an approachable person, warm and welcoming one. With his vast knowledge and experiences, he always shared it without hesitation. He is always with a new ideas. He is an analyst, a thinker, with one of a kind methods, a thought far away from the box. He is a visionary, a very good leader. He is open to discuss with anything. He’s like a Jedi master who thinks like a Sith.
Denis’ Advice and Help was Spot on
I was expecting him to give a more general help in our first conversation, but after viewing our business canvas, and asking a few questions to clarify some parts, his advice and help was spot on, 100% custom made for us. I took a lot out of our hour long conversation, and implemented some things immediately, and I could already see a huge difference in how people perceived us, and interacted with our brand. I appreciate his time and he’s a wonderful mentor.
Denis Cuts Through Confusion
Denis cuts through confusion and identifies significant issues. His input is practical and always useful. I consider him an invaluable part of my team.