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What's the vision anyhow?

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If you do not cultivate an environment in which leaders and employees can carry on your vision, your legacy cannot live on.—Beth Armknecht Miller, founder, Executive Velocity.

Do new ideas align with your strategic vision?

Strategic vision links the present to the future, showing how you intend to move the organization to its next level of performance. Much has been written about strategic vision and alignment. Context vs core. Must-have products vs nice-to-have. The question here is whether any new idea is a key component of your long-term strategic vision. That, without it, your company’s long-term viability is in jeopardy.

For example, a firm could decide to expand its portfolio of offerings to better support an existing market or decide to promote its existing set of offerings to a new market segment. The new product initiative or market focus is a strategic decision.

In the early days of Amazon, the company focused on selling books on the internet. After all, books were easy to sell and easy to ship. Over time, more product categories were added, such as CDs and DVDs, with the same “easy to sell and ship” characteristics. Jump forward a decade and look at Amazon’s introduction of Kindle readers and Fire tablets. Not as easy to sell and ship, and much harder to develop and promote than previous products. Despite these drawbacks, offering readers and tablets was a strategic decision—moving Amazon and its customers from physical goods to electronic goods.

Strategic vision provides focus for business, market, and product portfolio decisions.

Is this new idea key to your future or is it a supplement to your existing offerings? The "Strategic" factor is one consideration in defining new products that we've incorporated into the Under10 Playbook software.

How do you judge strategic fit in your firm? Add your comments below.

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