Every company lays out a strategy at the beginning of each year. However, according to Daniel Prosser’s Thirteeners, “87% of those companies fail to successfully execute the strategy they set for any given year.” That’s a pretty hefty number – so, how do you rise above it and become part of the 13%?
Remember Napster, the innovators that had insight on the value of file sharing? With the first-mover advantage, they could have gained a competitive advantage through control of resources, and could have been rewarded huge profit margins and monopoly-like status. However, there were multiple flaws in their business model that left opportunity for new entrants to enter the market and compete more effectively and efficiently. 
If only they had the visibility into their processes and technical resources to map out the requirements to appropriately execute on their strategy.
Consider a GPS: it won’t tell you where to go shopping or who to visit - you need to determine the goals that are most appropriate for your needs. Once you identify a potential goal (“I’d like to go to Store X.”), the GPS can help you understand the journey that will take you to your destination. The scenario that the GPS lays out can help you determine if you want to follow through on that scenario or if there are things (like timing or resources) that you hadn’t considered. A scenario analysis like that may have helped Napster capitalize on their first-mover advantage.
Similarly, if someone else in your market is tries to branch out and capitalize on a first-mover advantage, but doesn’t have the visibility into how their organization’s processes and resources can specifically support their strategy, if you have visibility into the moving parts of your business ecosystem, you can leverage that visibility to make sure you have everything in the right place to avoid some of the mistakes of the first-mover and capitalize on a second-mover advantage.
Another concept that Prosser explains is that “the true challenge of building a great company, one that consistently executes its strategy, is understanding the real nature of human interaction and the key to success is connectedness.”
Prosser states that “a business should be viewed as a network of interrelated conversations.” So, capturing those interrelated conversations and tying them back to specific tactics, goals, and resources will enable your business to effectively execute on strategic initiatives.
Once you have created a solid foundation on which to execute your strategy, you can then try applying the same moves externally, to your customer interactions.
In this new “customer age” where customers can wield their mighty sword in a single swipe on their smart phones to influence the flow of the market and the direction of your business, it’s important to have your finger on the pulse and the resources to rapidly respond.
Today, not only do customers expect businesses to present their value propositions in 140 characters or less, but they also expect you to listen and respond quickly while offering the cheapest, fastest, and highest quality solutions. Why shouldn’t they be able to demand the best customer experience when your competition might be able to do it better, cheaper, faster? That’s the beauty of a free market – competition will always keep you on your toes, and being the best prepared with the clearest plan will give you that advantage.
So, how do you compete for your customers’ love and loyalty? Again, it comes back to visibility and understanding where you are now, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there. Not only does this apply to your business strategy, but at a more granular level it applies to improving your customer experience through customer journey mapping. For example, a roadmap gives you a clear picture of the ins and outs of how your customers interact with your product, your messaging, and your employees.
Are you ready to be part of the 13%? Learn more about how you can successfully execute on your strategy next year and become more connected to your customers. Download our eBook "Capture Digital Strategy Using Enterprise Architecture".