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What is a Business Unit Strategy?
In today’s increasingly turbulent markets, devising and executing a winning strategy takes a thoughtful approach that looks both outward and inward.

The outward perspective identifies the best opportunities as well as potential sources of disruption for the business unit. It defines future scenarios and profit pools, assesses competitor strategies and strengths, reveals the priorities of leading-edge customers, discerns potent new business models and possible lateral entrants, and determines the style of strategy needed to win. The inward view assesses the business unit’s real sources of competitive advantage, explores ways to augment its advantage through the acquisition of new assets or capabilities, and analyzes its approach to value creation relative to rivals. The ultimate strategy brings these two perspectives together to uncover which combination of choices—of customers, markets, and investments—has the greatest potential to create value.

Only 1 in 9 companies achieves sustainable profitable growth. And of those sustained value creators, 90% lead in their core business. A solid business unit strategy approach focuses on achieving full economic potential of the core business and pursuing adjacencies with ruthless discipline, with an eye toward mobilization from Day 1 to ensure our clients convert their strategy into realized results. Good strategies are developed based on a robust strategic foundation, make choices on where to play and how to build a competitive advantage, and establish flexible priorities that drive results at the front line.

What makes a good strategy?
1. Ambition. A bold, inspiring, full potential ambition that drives to sustained profitable growth.
2. Strategic foundation. A robust fact base that drives to strategic insights and builds the case for change.
3. Where to Play. Clear choices on where to play: which markets and segments the company will pursue (and which it will not).
4. How to Win . Clear choices on how to win: which differentiated capabilities and assets the company will leverage.
5. Results at the front line. Flexible priorities that follow the money even in turbulence and go beyond “just initiatives”. Mobilization of the front-line to embed the change and creation of feedback loops to monitor and adapt.

The example of strategy work is how to create a robust strategic foundation without boiling the ocean on analysis – but adding more weight on strategies, choices on where to play and how to build a competitive advantage, and establish flexible priorities that drive results for a software player in medical devices. This example is all applicable for other industries.

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