A couple of years ago, organizations of all sizes were proud to have their high-caliber strategy department where some young and not-so-young smart brains thought about the best direction for the company given the current situation, anticipated challenges, and upcoming trends. Today things are different. The same companies face fundamental strategic uncertainties, which question the basis of their business models. How will this impact strategy work at your company? Well, consider those 4 key trends we see today in setting the right priorities for your company’s future

1) Digital is really your biggest challenge! 
Although this term resounded throughout the land over the last months and years, it is still the most important challenge to master. This 4th industrial revolution will shake existing business models and supply chains to a level where they collapse or re-invent themselves. It is not a question of which industry you belong to because digital does not stop at music, taxi or retail! It needs smart answers to managing these disruptions – sitting, waiting and watching  are NOT an option!

2) Expect a death in a decade!
More than half of the business models that you know today won’t be successful nor possible in the future. The question we are so used to about our USP and our competitive advantage is no more critical but will be replaced by a temporary advantage. Bundling the right services, products and channels for a period of time in order to serve existing consumer needs is the new approach.

3) Change your strategy development!
There aren’t only new requirements regarding your strategy development when it comes to the content but also for the process of doing so. Prepare for systematical and analytical capabilities combined with a big portion of flexibility. Allowing for and learning by mistakes is not a lip service but existing practice. To plan is one thing and will be still necessary but always leave room in your best plan for some spontaneous adjustments.

4) Strategy is a team approach!
Days are gone when the smartest brains in your strategy department were considered the “Gods in suits” nor is it the task of your c-suite team to define the strategy and then delegate down the hierarchy to execute. Make all your employees – regardless of education, generation and location- part of the process. Even expand your strategy development team to the vertical and horizontal supply chain partners where appropriate.

If you and your company’s strategy team feel a bit like Columbus and his team with a wooden armada sent to discovering virgin soul, make sure you don’t fall in love with your Santa Maria but adjust the ship, the material of your boat, the route and the crew constantly to explore and enjoy one competitive advantage after the other.