What is Strategic Awareness, you ask? Well, basically, it’s another way of saying understand the context in which your business operates.
This context is very important. You should always keep it in the forefront of your mind, and run all your decisions through it.
Let me give you an example of what I mean.
We all know and love our two major Australian supermarket chains, right?
They are pretty much neck-in-neck in terms of competing for our affections and our wallets. Whatever one company does, we expect the other one to copy soon after, and we are rarely disappointed.
Their marketing and advertising strategies are pretty much the same, their operations are very similar and it seems that there’s not much room for differentiation, right? Not quite. This is where Strategic Awareness comes into play.
Recently, one of the chains opened a new store in a location where the other one already had presence for a number of years. The location – one of the more affluent suburbs of Melbourne.
The residents of this suburb are used to posh and plush atmosphere, so the new entrant didn’t spare the expense in creating a modern ‘glass and marble’ setting for its store.
The incumbent chain responded by refurbishing and renovating its store in a similar manner, to prevent customers from being seduced away by shine and glamour. A totally logical strategic move, right? But it didn’t quite work.
Many customers still went over to the new entrant. Why? It turned out to be quite simple: the new entrant has an elevator and an escalator to take people from the car park right into the store, but the incumbent’s customers have to walk from the car park, around the outside, to enter the store.
In a suburb with an affluent older demographic, this turned out to be a major competitive advantage.
We often become so engrossed in tactics and execution that we forget to be strategically aware. Which, once again, means keeping the context in which we operate in the forefront of our mind and running all our decisions through it.
This doesn’t just apply to business, but to everything we do in life. For example, we can get so focused on our career that we let our important relationships slide. Or we can get so engrossed in fulfilling other people’s expectations of us that we let our own dreams wither and die.
Keeping strategically aware requires periodically to step back and re-assess the ‘why’s and the ‘how’s of whatever it is we’re doing.
The FocusPlanAchieve workshops are the best means through which you can step back and reassess all, or any part of your life: