Strategic intent is defined by a strategic signature

In this short video David Trafford and Peter Boggis discuss how the strategic intent of an organisation can be defined by its target positioning along a set of strategic axes. Each strategic axis represents a source of value to customers and other stakeholders. Collectively, the target positioning along each strategic axis defines the organisation’s target strategic signature. Examples of strategic axes in retail banking include payments, savings, mortgages and insurance.

In the video David and Peter talk about Amazon, which started operating with one strategic axis, namely that of book e-tailing. Over the years it extended this axis to include the sale of CDs, DVDs and other products from third-party suppliers. It also introduced new strategic axes, including web services, video streaming, Kindle e-reader, Audible books and food retailing. In 2010 it started work on a new strategic axis called Amazon Fire, an innovative smartphone. The smartphone was launched in 2014, but in 2015 was withdrawn from the market. The resultant cost associated with launching – and withdrawing – this strategic axis was $170 million.

All organisations in the same sector could operate on the same strategic axes, but where they choose to position themselves is likely to be different. This uniqueness is their strategic signature. Strategic signatures are an effective way of defining an organisation’s strategic intent, as they define not only what an organisation intends to do but also the extent to which it intends to do it. It also defines which strategic axes an organisation chooses not to pursue.

Watch David and Peter’s video.

For further information see:
Making Your Strategic Signature Explicit

Watch the next video in the series, where David and Peter discuss how operating principles can make strategic intent more meaningful to others.