Sriram Krishnan writes about what he learnt from a VC about not to be too strategic in some scenarios.
This VC threw up a slide at the end of his slide to summarize most of his talk. It had the following sentence in bold which made the room break into applause.
Don’t be so f-king strategic
All large companies (and I do mean all – this is not a post about Microsoft) tend to be in love with finding the right ‘strategy’ in place before doing anything. There are reams and reams of text written on what exactly strategy is and how to go about having a good one. Some of them are actually quite good (for example, Porter’s work on the five forces). You could often get rapped on the knuckles (or worse) for being ‘off-strategy’.
Don’t get me wrong. Good strategy combined with good execution is a joy to watch (case in point – Apple over the last decade). The last thing you would want is people off doing their own thing and being all ‘off-strategy’ and rebellious.
But here’s the problem.
You’re not Steve Jobs and your organization is not Apple. And your well-thought out strategy is probably terrible.