Business success is hugely dependent on smart business strategies. Business strategy is so important that it should be a daily focus. Its importance is incontestable because no business can thrive without it. It is typical for me to get entrepreneurs or business people requesting guidance on business strategy formulation. Business strategy formulation is a broad and diverse field to unpack. However, there are other angles to it that we can discuss. Today I want us to discuss a book by Patrick Bet-David and Greg Dinkin. The book is called Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy. Here are the 5 moves from the book:

Self-Awareness – Know Yourself First

The first move is getting to know yourself. Self-awareness is defined as the personal trait regarding your ability to persistently and accurately perceive your presence amongst others, your own knowledge and abilities, and, subsequently, to recognize your limitations. Your level of self-awareness defines your entire business experience. You might inadequately know the extent of your knowledge and abilities and limitations. Possibly you might know but choose to ignore those aspects. Either way, you will tend to make poor decisions. Plus, you will have a hard time interacting with other people – subordinates, colleagues, partners, and superiors. This reminds me of what Sun Tzu said in the book Art of War, ‘If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. Knowing yourself is the foundation!

The Ability To Reason Objectively

To reason here means to deduce or come to a conclusion by being rational. Your second move is to consider how you reason in general. All of us have certain ways we reason despite what the subject matter may be. Personally, I am most active on Twitter. I participate a lot in discussions that pop up there almost daily. One recurrent thing I have noticed is that most people take things as black and white. They regard things as either A or B.

Sadly that is rarely how things work because often time things have grey areas. Especially in business, things tend to be riddled with grey areas. If you reason using a polar approach, you will miss the important nuances, i.e. the subtleties or finer details. You must build a reasoning framework that considers all the variables and possibilities. Do not be myopic, blinkered, or polar in how you think for the sake of decision-making.

Building The Right Team

Notice how we talked about self-awareness as the first move. You will realize just how cardinal it is to build the right team. The right team is not just about being skilled and experienced. The right team is most important about complementing each other. If you know yourself, you can accurately know the attributes of the people you need. That is only possible if you know yourself and others know themselves too. The idea is to establish a team culture that brings out the best in everyone. It is also about building and maintaining trust. That is why teambuilding exercises are important in cultivating the right team. A culture of open and honest communication is also essential here. Nothing major ever gets achieved in isolation or individually; it normally takes a collective effort.

Strategize On How To Scale

This here is your fourth move. To scale means to change the size of something whilst maintaining proportion, especially to change a process in order to produce much larger amounts of the final product. In short, and in this business context, it means business growth. There always comes a time when a business must scale; otherwise, it will remain small. Scaling is prepared for, so you have to strategize towards it deliberately. You do so by ensuring there is adequate cash flow. If not, you will have to mobilize capital for growth. You will also have to build a framework that stimulates and sustains business growth. You need clear KPIs that you will track at all times. For more on scaling, check out an article I did on things you must get right or master before thinking about scaling your business.

Make Power Plays

The power play is a familiar term commonly used in several sporting disciplines. In summary, it refers to a situation where a team has a numerical advantage. Broadly, a power play can be defined as a tactic or tactics used to magnify power or influence. You must have heard that in political circles, I am sure. Anyways, I am sure you get the idea. Making power plays is your fifth step in mastering business strategy. You must seek ingenious ways to influence and control the narrative in your business domain.

Figure out ways to leverage social media to do that. Social media is no doubt the most powerful tool you can use to influence and control the narrative in your favour. I have mentioned the phrase social media over 450 times in my articles. That shows you how important it is. Regardless, power plays also go beyond just social media. In your interactions or negotiations, find smart ways to make power plays.

These are the 5 moves to make in your quest to master the art of business strategy. I know you have learnt a lot from this discussion but do find time to read the book yourself. This will help you discover even more insights and angles I might not have covered today. You are never the same after reading any wholesome book.