Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Upstream and Downstream

One of the overlooked ways to improve your strategic planning is by thinking about how your organization fits into the bigger picture.  An excellent exercise in strategic thinking is to take a minute and think about why you are important both upstream and downstream in the value chain.  In other words, what makes you important to your suppliers, and what makes you important to your customers.
I like to closely examine any ideas this may spark about win-win activities that might involve the upstream or downstream players.  A good example would be a social networking site which encourages you to invite friends - you are helping them by growing their network, and helping yourself by expanding the network you can draw upon within that site.  This particular win-win activity goes a long way to explain the rapid growth of social networks as both a business and recreational tool.
Question to ask in your strategic planning:  What activities might you encourage that create a similar win-win situation for your upstream and downstream stakeholders?

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