Building a Better Strategy and Alliances into 2024 with competitive intelligence thinking

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Building a Better Strategy and Alliances into 2024 with competitive intelligence thinking

As one year draws close and another begins, it’s the perfect time to contemplate what lies ahead. Many set resolutions or make short-term plans. There’s immense value in taking a step back to build a well-thought-out strategy. Here, we’ll explore the significance of strategy over tactics. And provide questions to help you craft a more effective and forward-thinking approach. It’s about building a better strategy and alliances into 2024 with competitive intelligence thinking.

Your strategy is the roadmap that leads you from your current state to your desired endgame.

The Strategy-Tactics Dilemma

At the start of a new year, countless people eagerly set goals and make resolutions. They pledge to join a gym, enrol in a writing course, or promise to improve their lives over many years. Some decide it’s time for a fresh start, and divorce rates increase after the Christmas lights return to the attic. These are tactics—short-term actions and decisions aimed at achieving immediate objectives.

But tactics alone are not enough. Tactics flow from strategies. Without a well-defined strategy, tactics lack direction and purpose. Your strategy sets the overarching game plan, guiding your actions towards a specific endgame. So, why do so many people neglect this crucial step?

Related article: What is Sustained Competitive Advantage in Business Strategy?

The Endgame

Your strategy begins with defining your endgame—the ultimate destination you aim to reach. The endgame represents a cooperative endeavour where everyone involved can win. It’s the vision that propels you forward, providing clarity and purpose. Here are some vital questions to ask about your endgame:

  • What does your endgame for this year look like?
  • Who do you aspire to be within your endgame?
  • Where do you envision your endgame taking place?
  • What resources and elements are necessary for your endgame to flourish?

Your answers to these questions lay the foundation for a powerful strategy. They help you outline the people, places, and things to reach your endgame successfully.

Identifying Your Competition

You’ve defined your endgame. It’s time to identify the competition—those who will vie for the same people, places, and things within your endgame. Competition exists where gains for one may lead to losses for another. Understanding your competition is crucial for crafting an effective strategy. Here are some essential questions to consider when evaluating your competition:

  • Who or what are you competing against?
  • Where will the competition occur?
  • How can you secure victory quickly and efficiently?

Your strategy may need building alliances or joining teams to prevail in this. Collaboration is often the key to success. Yet, there are instances when personal growth and skill development play pivotal roles. Even in these cases, mentors or allies can speed up your progress, transforming a loss into a win.

Read more: Using Competitor Intelligence to Further Your Growth Strategy

Crafting Your Strategy Framework

Your strategy is the roadmap that leads you from your current state to your desired endgame. It’s a framework that combines your endgame vision with a good understanding of your competition. 

Consider this basic strategy framework:

1. Endgame 

Define your ultimate goal and what it entails.

2. Competition

Identify your rivals or obstacles.

3. Alliances

Determine who can assist you in winning the competition.

4. Skills and Personal Growth 

Assess what you need to improve.

5. Execution

Develop a plan and take action.

6. Adaptation

Adjust your strategy as necessary.

Read more: Unlock Valuable Insights with The Power of Co-Creation and Competitive Intelligence

Building Strategic Alliances

As you craft your strategy, forming alliances becomes a critical component. Alliances can impact your ability to succeed in both positive-sum and zero-sum games. To build successful alliances, ask yourself this key question:

Who can I work with to help me win against the competition to get what I need for my endgame?

The end of the year is a good opportunity to reflect on your existing alliances and consider new ones. But frankly, you can do this pondering anytime and anywhere. Some alliances may happen by chance or proximity. But the most effective ones are planned and hunted down with the end game in your mind. Here are questions to ponder as you build your strategy and evaluate your alliances:

  • Who are your current teammates or allies?
  • Are any members of your team hindering your progress or pulling you down?
  • Are you actively networking to discover potential partners to support your endgame? 
  • And what’s their endgame, and does it clash with yours?

Building a Better Strategy and Alliances into 2024 with competitive intelligence thinking

To achieve your endgame, a well-crafted strategy is your most powerful tool. It guides your actions, aligns your resources, and maximises your chances of success. While tactics are essential, they must flow from a robust strategic foundation. As you approach the end of the year, take the time to test your endgame. Understand your competition and strategically build alliances. In doing so, you’ll set yourself on a path toward a new year and strategic direction. One that’s geared towards building a better future.

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