The wildly successful CEO of Proctor & Gamble articulates his approach to corporate strategy in the book Play to Win. The good news about this book is that it’s easy to read, makes sense and is applicable to any organization, large or small, business, non-profit or government. While the examples are P&G specific, the concepts are universal.
He asks five clear questions:
- What is your winning aspiration? – If you’re not playing to win, you won’t do what it takes to really thrive – invest, let some things go and embrace others – take the risks that it takes to win – case in point GM/Saturn.
- Where will you play? – Where will you compete – geography, markets, products, services?
- How will you win? – What is your unique value – what you do better than anyone else – build on this, it’s your competitive advantage
- What capabilities must be in place? – In order to win, what must we be able to do and how will we reinforce and configure these for maximum benefit
- What management systems are required? – Systems, structures, measures we’ll use to get this done and know where we are along the way
The answers are not easy and require tradeoffs and risk for sure. The question is: are you setting yourself and your organization up to win? If you are, you’ll be able to attract the best and brightest who will make it happen.
Do you and your team share a winning aspiration? If so, how broadly is it shared throughout the organization? If not, how can you move your team toward a collective shared winning aspiration?