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Do I need to develop a development strategy for modern business?

The word “strategy” in Russian business practice has overgrown with numerous myths, the most ardent distributors of which, according to our observations, are people who have never developed a strategy. One of the main complaints about business strategy is that the classic strategic toolkit developed many years ago, during the industrial revolution, and is unsuitable for the current digital age. I will try to show that this is not so.

The dissemination of ideas of abandoning strategy as a managerial tool in Russia was facilitated by Nassim Tallleb with his “black swan”.

The idea of ​​a “black swan”, that is, an unpredictable external factor, was liked by entrepreneurs because it frees them from the need to plan ahead. What is the point if something happens anyway that you are not ready for? But the strategic planning tools allow you to calculate the smooth development of the business, in the absence of negative scenarios, and at the same time prepare for risks and unforeseen situations. Relatively speaking, to the “black swans.” For this, strategic management has risk management and scenario planning tools.

The idea of ​​the “Black Swan” can be formulated as follows – events that radically change the state of things, occur with the least degree of probability and are practically not calculated in advance. Because of this, their influence is greatest.
The idea of ​​the “Black Swan” can be formulated as follows – events that radically change the state of things, occur with the least degree of probability and are practically not calculated in advance. Because of this, their influence is greatest.
But most importantly, the modern world is changing not only faster than before, but also much more predictably. Of course, it was impossible to foresee the currency crisis of the end of 2014, it is really a “black swan”. But there are not so many such “swans” in the life of an ordinary business, mainly the time and efforts of its creators are spent not on overcoming crises, but on the struggle for the consumer, for sales, for superiority to competitors. And this, on the one hand, is becoming more difficult every day, on the other – the world has become global, not only in the technological, but also in the information sense. At your service are hundreds (and if you read in English, thousands) of information sources, moreover, free of charge, which allow you to create ideas about current consumer and technological trends.

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Development vector
It’s easy to imagine the main vectors of development of the technological vector of our country, it’s enough to get an idea of ​​what is happening in the USA or China in this sense, and for this you don’t even need to leave your office – just go to the Internet. At your service are reviews, analytics, trends, forecasts – for almost any market, for any product.

The Achilles heel of long-term planning is the inability to accurately predict the future. What will our market be like in three years? What will our consumer be like in three years? What, accordingly, should be our product in three years? Predicting was much more difficult than now.

Uncertainty of the future does not exempt from planning. The future is always uncertain, and always – approximately the same, that in the Middle Ages, that in the XXI century. But management, whatever one may say, is making decisions in the face of uncertainty; a manager never has all the information for making decisions. This is part of the concept of doing business.

Russian companies most often use only one plan for management – the annual budget. Others prefer to plan the future with short financial “sprints”, one quarter in advance. But both methods have a common drawback – they both contain only financial indicators. And then, comparing the plan with the fact, you, too, at best can compare some financial indicators with others. But no financial indicators will not answer you the question: “What exactly do customers do not like about your product, and why do its sales fall?”

An additional drawback of the annual budget is that, say, in November, the company has a work plan only a month in advance. The old year is ending, the new budget has not yet begun, and sometimes huge companies of a federal scale in early December clearly understand what they have to do only twenty days in advance.

Maybe it’s fearless? Maybe in the era of universal agile you should manage the company?

Most business decisions are long-term — whether you want it or not. Buying a new chair or hiring a new secretary is, of course, not a strategic decision. But such decisions should take no more than 10% of your time.

Recruit a new team or do the old? Expand staff or wait for now? Open a representative office in Singapore or in Nizhny Tagil? Buy new equipment or wait for the season? You are making all these decisions now, and you will see the consequences at best next year.

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