Spent the launch day of Spurr at the CBI MSB Summit listening to dozens of businesses share their views on key priorities over the coming months and years.

The theme of the event was ‘Meeting the Productivity Challenge’ – a long-standing challenge for the UK.

What struck me over the course of the day was that the business leaders talked just as much about strategy as they did measures of efficiency.

As far as the guest speakers (John Lewis Partnership, Ao, CBI, RSK and others) were concerned Brexit was the subject of much discussion but used to look at the ‘art of the possible’ rather than dwell pessimistically.

According to the business leaders presenting it seemed clear that for them the hallmarks of success in strategy were:

  • You’ve just got to ‘have a dream’ and be relentless in pursuing it
  • Don’t wait until the threat of extinction before you think big
  • Focus on a competitive advantage in a few competences and be a lot better, not a bit better
  • The role of innovation must be lived by the senior team or else it’s an unfulfilling ritual
  • Although time-consuming acquisitions are still playing and important part of the growth plans

I agree with all of the above and in reality the best businesses are great at efficiency and strategy.

These ‘strategy heroes’ invest in it, plan it, review it and change it.  Easy to say and if more companies had this approach they and the UK would fulfill their potential.

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