The Role Of Strategic Thinking In Problem-solving And Innovation – Credit: Chen Chunhua, Professor, National Development School, Peking University, Independent Director, Bank of China
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The Role Of Strategic Thinking In Problem-solving And Innovation
Jobs are divided into temporary winners, stage winners and permanent winners. Temporary winners are opportunists, stage winners are pragmatists, and permanent winners are strategic leaders.
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Most companies can easily solve immediate problems and focus more on how to compete and with whom, but if a company is caught in such conflicts, it usually does not have a clear strategy.
I believe that as a company leader you must be very skilled in strategic planning.
All these years, Chinese companies do not pay special attention to their strategic planning. The supply situation in every industry has been inadequate for a long time. When you start a business, there will always be opportunities to work hard.
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So why are so many online businesses moving offline today? I saw statistics that an average person in the world spends about 3.9 hours online and an average person in China spends 4.2 hours online. The time a person spends online every day is about 4-5 hours, once the quota of 4-5 hours is “used up”, many online businesses need to shift their focus offline.
Considering that today’s market is oversupplied or oversupplied, making the right strategic choices becomes the most important issue. Strategy deals with creating value for customers, which is the fundamental problem that companies must solve.
This is why I believe there is a need to train the core team in strategic thinking – to constantly think about how to create clear value for customers.
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Management is mainly concerned with two problems: reducing costs and improving efficiency. When you can cut costs and improve efficiency, you’re doing things right.
However, the strategy focuses on two main issues. First, how to create value for customers, and second, how to sustain growth.
By choosing the right strategy, we can have the opportunity to grow with our customers, that’s why the strategy should play an attractive role. In any organization, both strategy and management are important.
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So why is it important to understand the definition of strategy? The essence of strategy is decision making, and what you decide not to do is really important. So I often ask people this question: What should we choose? What do we choose not to do?
This is a question you need to think about because there is no way to solve it if you try to do everything. The strategic choices are to stay with the customer, focus your energies on creating value for customers, and achieve maximum growth.
As I’ve noticed in many companies I’ve followed, some leaders have excellent strategic thinking skills and average management skills, but their companies perform extremely well in terms of growth and strength. In contrast, some leaders are great at management and have done a great job with their management, but their business lacks room for growth and future opportunities.
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Therefore, the first requirement of a senior leader of any organization is to be a strategic thinker. When you start thinking strategically, you will choose the best strategy on how to grow and improve customer value. Again, this is how top business leaders should prepare.
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During my regional review, many of my regional leaders told me that our strategy is well defined. Then I asked: If the strategy is well defined, what is your goal? He said: Let’s build and improve our regional business.
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These are not goals, they are slogans. Objectives should be very clear and specific, for example, how many customers do we serve? How much is the sales revenue? How to drive market growth etc. This should be well defined.
As I wrote in the book titled “40 Years of Shunde”, with no geographical advantage, Shunde, a city in Guangdong Province, China, decided to do everything possible to cultivate its industrial sector, from the production of a small fan to the most extensive. Production in the world of base for air conditioner, microwave oven and refrigerator. Therefore, there is always power of choice in strategic planning.
It is also very important to be able to evaluate the performance of the plan. I often believe that most companies don’t have a good strategy because there was never a way to test it. Evaluating the strategic plan and validating it is critical to success.
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Finally, the plan should have an action plan. A strategic plan should not be just a dream and not a goal, but a practical plan that you must implement to ensure that the strategies are achieved.
During Alibaba’s formative years, Jack Ma articulated Alibaba’s value proposition very clearly: make it easy to do business anywhere. From this value proposition, Alibaba aimed to improve customer value and finally gained space for its survival.
Then comes the cost model and the revenue model. That is, what makes you profitable and how is your cost structure.
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Therefore, the strategy is to create goals, tactics, evaluation framework and operational plans according to the business model and then convert it into value proposition, cost model and revenue model, supply chain and organizational structure. Only in this way can the team really adopt the strategy created.
By formulating a strategy, we only answer the questions of how to get to the future, in other words,
Today, we see growth in many Chinese cities, and this growth comes from previously strategic locations. Therefore, when formulating our current strategies, we must make judgments about the future.
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For example, Guizhou has taken an exceptional position in this new wave of development that stands out in the era of big data. So why did Guizhou succeed? The reason is simply because he started digitization years ago with the big data industry. He has clearly identified big data as his strategic focus for the entire province.
It is never too late to strategize at any time and you just need to decide on your future. Someone in the small business sector once told me, Ms. Chen, you probably pay less attention to me because you only serve larger businesses. I replied that today there are no big or small businesses because changes happen so fast these days.
Remember that it is never too late to make a choice because we are all creating the future and today is always the best choice.
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Sometimes, creating a strategy can be very risky, which can have a significant impact if the wrong choice is made. However, it is not the core of election strategy. This is about execution.
People are often afraid of making the wrong choice, they often think that if you do, you are not fit to be a strategist. In practice, the key to strategy in many companies is always execution. As Ren Zhengfei once said summing up Huawei’s success today, “Although the direction is generally correct, execution is the key.”
Finally, you must be able to turn strategy into a concept. This concept is good for aligning people, maintaining stability and bridging gaps with external parties.
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During China’s opening 40 years ago, Deng Xiaoping, the country’s chief architect, led us to make the most meaningful strategic decisions, the strategy of “Focusing on Economic Development.” How can this strategy unite everyone’s thinking and keep the entire country on the same page? Deng Xiaoping used the concept of China’s economic reforms.
Without the concept of China’s economic reforms, we cannot coordinate everyone’s actions to focus on economic development. That’s why whenever there was a fight between people and we didn’t know what to do, we fell back on the concept that “it doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white, it’s a good cat, as long as it hunts. . Mouse.”
Once you have the concept, you can solve the complexity. For example, “Modelling” addresses the challenges and complexities of development using the concepts of industrial, urban and collective enterprises. So when they practice more strategic thinking, when you can set strategic goals and identify concepts, that solves the complexity.
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Last but not least, the strategy is a beautiful dream. As you imagine the future, as you choose your goals, you make choices with your dreams, choices about what to do and choices about what not to do. As we choose, we develop our abilities and eventually this ability will become
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