Strategic intent needs to be the beginning point for strategy development. Once you’ve decided this, then the rest of your strategic planning can be accomplished with this end in mind.
With strategic intent, you’re setting forth on a forward-looking path to future market leadership. Your focus will be on creating new advantages and this is going to be a stable path over multiple years. This also allows for much more creativity to find new ways of doing things and it really engages people on a more significant level.
There are multiple opportunities that will be unlocked by having a clear strategic intent. In the process of analyzing the foreseeable path of the marketplace and technology, you’ll fold the future back into present. You’ll define the new skills that are going to be needed for you to compete for those future opportunities.
You should always start strategy development with strategic intent. As Stephen Covey, who is the author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” said, “we should begin with the end in mind.”
A strategic planning activity is generally an exercise in futility without a compelling strategic intent because it’s going to be resource-constrained, only line of sight, focused on known competitors and it’s going to miss seeing the industry dislocations that are coming that create huge opportunities.
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