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战略的要义

2017-9-22 11:55| 发布者: 四叶草1988| 查看: 22426| 评论: 0|来自: 市场部网

摘要: 作为市场营销人,我们每天都在跟战略打交道。但多数时候,“战略策略”这些词只是虚妄的口头概念 —— 极少数人真正理解它们的意义,我们做的努力也极少数真正影响到“战略”这个层级。那么战略究竟是什么?离我们遥 ...
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作为市场营销人,我们每天都在跟战略打交道。但多数时候,“战略策略”这些词只是虚妄的口头概念 —— 极少数人真正理解它们的意义,我们做的努力也极少数真正影响到“战略”这个层级。
那么战略究竟是什么?离我们遥不可及么?
在战略管理领域的有本非常知名的书籍叫做《好战略,坏战略》(good strategy, bad strategy)。它的开篇引言部分总结了全书精华,我觉得很棒,有助于大家一窥战略之要义。遂翻译,并加上些自己的思考附在结尾,希望对你有益。

(本书作者:Richard Rumelt)
OVERWHELMING OBSTACLES
困难重重
译 / 李怡
1805年,英格兰面临着一个挑战。
当时Napoléon征服了欧洲的大片地区,并计划入侵英格兰。但要想横渡英吉利海峡,他首先要夺得大海的控制权。于是,由法国和西班牙租车的强大联合舰队(共33艘战船),与规模相对较小的英国舰队(共27艘)在西班牙西南海岸狭路相逢。
In 1805, England had a problem. Napoléon had conquered big chunks of Europe and planned the invasion of England. But to cross the Channel, he needed to wrest control of the sea away from the English. Off the southwest coast of Spain, the French and Spanish combined fleet of thirty-three ships met the smaller British fleet of twenty-seven ships.
那时海战的成熟战术是这样的:两支敌对舰队,面对面列成一排,然后彼此开火(看过加勒比海盗吧)。但英军指挥官,上将Nelson产生了一个战略洞见:他把英国舰队分成两列,命令他们以垂直角度冲向法国-西班牙舰队,并发动攻击。(这种战略下)领头的英国舰船实际上是冒着巨大风险的(容易被包夹击沉)。但Nelson判断,那些法国和西班牙的新兵蛋子(火枪手们)水平不行,没能力造成足够大的威胁。
The well-developed tactics of the day were for the two opposing fleets to each stay in line, firing broadsides at each other. But British admiral Lord Nelson had a strategic insight. He broke the British fleet into two columns and drove them at the Franco-Spanish fleet, hitting their line perpendicularly. The lead British ships took a great risk, but Nelson judged that the less-trained Franco-Spanish gunners would not be able to compensate for the heavy swell that day.

特拉法加战役
最终,当这场载入史册的特拉法加战役结束时,法西舰队损失了22艘船(三分之二),而英国舰队损失竟然是0艘。可惜的是Nelson上将在这场战役中死去,但同时,他也成为了英国历史上最伟大的海军英雄。
也正是这场战役,为英国海军在接下来一个半世纪内的世界无敌奠定了基础。
At the end of the Battle of Trafalgar, the French and Spanish lost twenty-two ships, two-thirds of their fleet. The British lost none. Nelson was mortally wounded, becoming, in death, Britain’s greatest naval hero. Britain’s naval dominance was ensured and remained unsurpassed for a century and a half.
让我们来回顾一下,Nelson当时面临的挑战是:敌军人数远胜于他。而他的战略是:让英军旗舰冒着巨大风险去破坏法西舰队阵型的连贯性。他判断,一旦敌方舰队阵型被打乱,具备丰富经验的英国舰长将在接下来的混战中取胜。
Nelson’s challenge was that he was outnumbered. His strategy was to risk his lead ships in order to break the coherence of his enemy’s fleet. With coherence lost, he judged, the more experienced English captains would come out on top in the ensuing melee.

Nelson上将
好战略,几乎总是像上面这样,看起来简单、明显,用不着几百页PPT来解释。好战略并不是从什么矩阵、三角、图表等“战略管理”工具中蹦出来的。好战略的制定者,会界定一或两个关键问题——挖掘出那些能够让行动的功效成倍增加的核心节点,然后在上面集中投入资源。
Good strategy almost always looks this simple and obvious and does not take a thick deck of PowerPoint slides to explain. It does not pop out of some “strategic management” tool, matrix, chart, triangle, or fill-in-the-blanks scheme. Instead, a talented leader identifies the one or two critical issues in the situation—the pivot points that can multiply the effectiveness of effort—and then focuses and concentrates action and resources on them.
尽管有许多人把战略等同于“雄心”、“领导力”、“愿景”、或“经济逻辑”这样的概念,但这些根本不是“战略”。战略工作的核心始终不变:在特定情境中发现关键因素,并设计一系列统合和聚焦的行动来处理这些因素。
Despite the roar of voices wanting to equate strategy with ambition, leadership, “vision,” planning, or the economic logic of competition, strategy is none of these. The core of strategy work is always the same: discovering the critical factors in a situation and designing a way of coordinating and focusing actions to deal with those factors.
作为领导人,最重要的责任是确定前进道路上最大的挑战,并想出连贯一致的手段来克服这些挑战。不论是企业经营还是上升到国家安全,战略都至关重要。然而,大多数人早就习惯了那种“领导人滔滔不绝喊口号、把企业目标当做企业战略”的场景。
A leader’s most important responsibility is identifying the biggest challenges to forward progress and devising a coherent approach to overcoming them. In contexts ranging from corporate direction to national security, strategy matters. Yet we have become so accustomed to strategy as exhortation that we hardly blink an eye when a leader spouts slogans and announces high-sounding goals, calling the mixture a “strategy.” Here are four examples of this syndrome.
事实上,一个好战略远不只是督促我们朝目标前进。好战略可以坦诚地承认我们所面临的挑战,并找到克服它们的方法。挑战越巨大,一个好的战略就越能集中和协调资源,帮助企业在竞争中取胜或解决问题。
A good strategy does more than urge us forward toward a goal or vision. A good strategy honestly acknowledges the challenges being faced and provides an approach to overcoming them. And the greater the challenge, the more a good strategy focuses and coordinates efforts to achieve a powerful competitive punch or problem-solving effect.
可惜,好战略必然不是普遍现象,而是例外。
领导者们都认为自己有战略,其实他们没有,他们大多数人都在做 “坏战略”。所谓“坏战略”通常会忽略或绕过那些恼人的细节。坏战略会忽视选择和专注的力量,反而尝试包容各种相互冲突的利益需求。就像那种只会对队友建议说“让我们赢下比赛”的橄榄球四分卫,坏战略用像“目标”“远景”“价值观”这样空泛的概念来掩盖它的无能。但这些概念实际上并不能替代战略思考的所需付出的努力。
Unfortunately, good strategy is the exception, not the rule. And the problem is growing. More and more organizational leaders say they have a strategy, but they do not. Instead, they espouse what I call bad strategy. Bad strategy tends to skip over pesky details such as problems. It ignores the power of choice and focus, trying instead to accommodate a multitude of conflicting demands and interests. Like a quarterback whose only advice to teammates is “Let’s win,” bad strategy covers up its failure to guide by embracing the language of broad goals, ambition, vision, and values. Each of these elements is, of course, an important part of human life. But, by themselves, they are not substitutes for the hard work of strategy.

其实绝大多数人一直没有分清楚哪些是真正的战略,而哪些又是被人贴上“战略”标签的一系列乌七八糟的概念。在1966年,当我第一次开始学习商业战略时,市面上一篇相关的文章也没有,只有三本关于战略的书。而今天,我的书架堆满了关于战略的书。咨询公司专精于战略,战略也发展出了博士学位…而战略领域每天都在产生无数文章。
The gap between good strategy and the jumble of things people label “strategy” has grown over the years. In 1966, when I first began to study business strategy, there were only three books on the subject and no articles. Today, my personal library shelves are fat with books about strategy. Consulting firms specialize in strategy, PhDs are granted in strategy, and there are countless articles on the subject.
但更多的内容,并没有让我们对“战略”的理解更清晰。更确切地说,战略这个概念变得更像是万能胶式的包装术语,仿佛任何事物都可以加上战略让它们显得更高大上。对于商业、教育和政府的从业人士,“战略”这个词简直就是他们的口头禅。在各种高谈阔论中,他们将营销称作“营销战略”,将数据处理称作“IT战略”,将收购称为“增长战略”…如果企业要降低价格,一些观察家们会说这是你的“低价战略”。(摊手)
But this plentitude has not brought clarity. Rather, the concept has been stretched to a gauzy thinness as pundits attach it to everything from utopian visions to rules for matching your tie with your shirt. To make matters worse, for many people in business, education, and government, the word “strategy” has become a verbal tic. Business speech transformed marketing into “marketing strategy,” data processing into “IT strategy,” and making acquisitions into a “growth strategy.” Cut some prices and an observer will say that you have a “low-price strategy.”
一个可以代表任何东西的概念已经失去其真正价值。要让一个概念拥有内涵,我们必须划定它的界限,指明它到底代表什么,不代表什么。
A word that can mean anything has lost its bite. To give content to a concept one has to draw lines, marking off what it denotes and what it does not.
为了搞清楚战略的概念,我们先谈一个误区,“战略”和“战略性的”这两个词现在经常被模糊的用来指代那些高级领导们的决策。例如,在商业领域,大多数并购投资行为、重要客户的商业谈判、组织架构设计通常被认为是“战略性的”。
然而,当你谈到“战略”时,你不应该只是依据决策者的地位等级来评定。准确的说,“战略”应该是对重大挑战的一系列回应。战略不是某个单独的决策或目标设定,战略是实施概念厘清、调研分析、解读政策、逻辑论证和执行行动等一系列连贯措施以最终解决问题的整体过程。
To begin the journey toward clarity, it is helpful to recognize that the words “strategy” and “strategic” are often sloppily used to mark decisions made by the highest-level officials. For example, in business, most mergers and acquisitions, investments in expensive new facilities, negotiations with important suppliers and customers, and overall organizational design are normally considered to be “strategic.” However, when you speak of “strategy,” you should not be simply marking the pay grade of the decision maker. Rather, the term “strategy” should mean a cohesive response to an important challenge. Unlike a stand-alone decision or a goal, a strategy is a coherent set of analyses, concepts, policies, arguments, and actions that respond to a high-stakes challenge.
许多人以为战略就是规划大方向,和具体行动无关。但如果这样定义战略,“战略”和“执行”之间就产生了巨大的鸿沟,那么战略工作就成了空中楼阁。事实上,这确实是有关“战略”最常见的疑问。
Many people assume that a strategy is a big-picture overall direction, divorced from any specific action. But defining strategy as broad concepts, thereby leaving out action, creates a wide chasm between “strategy” and “implementation.” If you accept this chasm, most strategy work becomes wheel spinning. Indeed, this is the most common complaint about “strategy.” 
一位高管对我说,“我们有很详尽的战略,但执行中却存在巨大问题。我们几乎总是完不成我们自己设定的目标”。顺着我的逻辑来,你就明白为什么会出现这种抱怨。一个好战略包含了一系列连贯措施,这些措施并非“执行”细节,但却是战略的核心组件。那些无法制定合理且可行性强的连贯行动的战略是有缺陷的。
Echoing many others, one top executive told me, “We have a sophisticated strategy process, but there is a huge problem of execution. We almost always fall short of the goals we set for ourselves.” If you have followed my line of argument, you can see the reason for this complaint. A good strategy includes a set of coherent actions. They are not “implementation” details; they are the punch in the strategy. A strategy that fails to define a variety of plausible and feasible immediate actions is missing a critical component.
好战略都有一个基本的逻辑结构,我称之为战略核心。战略核心包括三个要素:诊断过程、指导方针和连贯行动。
通过诊断我们找到前进的关键障碍;指导方针则细化了如何解决这些障碍和挑战的方法。指导方针就像一个路标,它标出前进方向,但不会指出解决过程的细节;最后,连贯行动是贯彻指导方针且可行性强的协调手段、资源承诺和具体行动。
A good strategy has an essential logical structure that I call the kernel. The kernel of a strategy contains three elements: a diagnosis, a guiding policy, and coherent action. The guiding policy specifies the approach to dealing with the obstacles called out in the diagnosis. It is like a signpost, marking the direction forward but not defining the details of the trip. Coherent actions are feasible coordinated policies, resource commitments, and actions designed to carry out the guiding policy.
一旦你有了完善而坚实的好战略,你就同时拥有了识别出坏战略的能力。正如你不需要成为导演才能发现坏电影,你也不需要具备经济、金融或其他专业知识来辨别好战略和坏战略。
举个栗子,看看美国政府应对2008年金融危机的“战略”,你会发现它确缺失了基本要素 —— 政府从来没有对产生金融危机的根源进行诊断,也因此,政府的行动没有重点、浮于表面,他们仅仅是把更多国家资源从大众转移到银行。即使你不是宏观经济学博士也懂得这是个坏战略。

译者注:次贷危机后布什政府主要使用QE量化宽松政策,大概是通过美联储收购金融机构的有毒资产稳定情况,这同时也算对民众财富的一次“掠夺”。
Once you gain a facility with the structure and fundamentals of a good strategy, you will develop the parallel ability to detect the presence of bad strategy. Just as you do not need to be a director to detect a bad movie, you do not need economics, finance, or any other abstruse special knowledge to distinguish between good and bad strategy. For example, looking at the U.S. government’s “strategy” for dealing with the 2008 financial crisis, you will see that essential elements are missing. In particular, there was no official diagnosis of the underlying malady. So, there can be no focus of resources and actions on a cure. There has only been a shift of resources from the public to the banks. You do not need a PhD in macroeconomics to make this judgment—it follows from understanding the nature of good strategy itself.
坏战略的问题不仅是没有好战略,它有自己的一套逻辑,就像建立在错误地基之上的虚幻高楼。坏战略会积极避免分析挑战与问题,因为领导者认为分析这些问题所带来的负面想法会阻碍前进。制定坏战略的领导者容易地把战略工作当作目标设定而不是解决问题。或者,他们会懒于抉择,因为他们不希望冒犯任何利益相关方——这样就产生了那种试图面面俱到而不能专注聚焦的坏战略。
Bad strategy is more than just the absence of good strategy. Bad strategy has a life and logic of its own, a false edifice built on mistaken foundations. Bad strategy may actively avoid analyzing obstacles because a leader believes that negative thoughts get in the way. Leaders may create bad strategy by mistakenly treating strategy work as an exercise in goal setting rather than problem solving. Or they may avoid hard choices because they do not wish to offend anyone—generating a bad strategy that tries to cover all the bases rather than focus resources and actions.
坏战略的蔓延影响着我们每个人:政府在定目标和喊口号时雷声大,真正解决问题时却雨点小;董事会成员们在那些不过是一厢情愿的战略计划上签字;教育系统善于定目标和设标准,却无力理解和应对自身不足…..唯一的药方是对这世界上的“引领者们”要求更高。
除了魅力和远见,我们还需要好战略。
The creeping spread of bad strategy affects us all. Heavy with goals and slogans, the national government has become less and less able to solve problems. Corporate boards sign off on strategic plans that are little more than wishful thinking. Our education system is rich with targets and standards, but poor in comprehending and countering the sources of underperformance. The only remedy is for us to demand more from those who lead. More than charisma and vision, we must demand good strategy.
怡见:
1 本书作者对“战略”理解的关键之处
①好战略并非一个单一决策,而是一个整体过程。这个过程作者总结为三部分:调研分析、指导方针、连贯执行。
②好战略的核心是界定那些能解决问题的关键要素。拿特拉法加战役举例,关键要素就是阵型和经验,在这两个点着重投入就可能获得巨额回报。
③好战略不是目标设定,也不脱离执行。领导人设定鼓舞人心的目标并不是解决办法,这个很好理解;不能指导具体怎么执行的战略也不是好战略。
这本书之所以叫good strategy,bad strategy就是因为用好与坏可以更清晰区分战略。我入行时这样理解策略:从A点到B点的路径就是我的策略。这样理解难免维度单一,环境、目标、出发点都影响我们的那条路是好策略还是坏策略。
如果再仔细阅读作者关于战略和执行关系的阐述,你会发现他说的还是很模糊的。执行究竟是被战略指导,还是包含在好战略之中?“连贯行动”由谁来执行是不是也决定了战略本身的成败?这也正是广告策划中planning和creative出现界限模糊的原型情景。哈,你很聪明的意识到了这点不是么?
2 本文对我启发最大的一点
初看本文我最先注意到的一点是:作者建议我们要找到关键要素/节点然后投入。那么问题来了,所谓关键要素到底是什么?怎么找到?我一直思索,最后发现回到了文章的标题:overwhelming obstacles。
试问我们何时需要战略?如果企业、国家一帆风顺,或者只有些小毛病,我们没必要兴师动众。只有我们遇到了那些真正让主体受到威胁的、优劣明显的情况下,也就是遇到挑战,我们才会运用战略。换句话说,战略正是为了应对巨大挑战/困难。
挑战催生战略,而战略也正是要正面回应挑战。
请思考:历史上所有的以少胜多、以弱胜强究竟为什么会发生?历史上曹操如何打败袁绍,苹果如何击败IBM?
我以为除了运气的成分外,它们无一例外都是在总体劣势的情况下,发掘了局部(或者说关键节点上)上的优势。而这个局部优势vs劣势,就像杠杆一样撬动和颠覆了整个战局。局部优势并非自然发生,而是前期分析(得出敌我优劣之对比)和一系列人为运作(暗度陈仓式的掩盖和转移)的结果。
*所谓势,应该是客观存在、可被主观利用的能量
我以一场战争为例:
官渡之战实际上是曹操与袁绍全面战争之缩影。
宏观层面袁绍实力较强,结合曹操虎狼环伺的情况,其实可选择拖垮曹操。而曹操决策果断,认为袁绍优柔寡断、反应不及,选择先攘内驱刘备、再合兵(而不是分兵)战绍。
这些决策与操作的意义很大,解除腹背受敌隐患和合兵都解决了曹操的致命劣势。如果致命劣势不填补,那么战只有败,不如不战。
微观战役层面,曹操避开主力直接厮杀士兵不足的劣势,利用情报优势奇袭乌巢粮道,将士以死贯彻执行,遂大胜,从此开始由守转攻。实际上袁绍也多次尝试截操之粮草,但没有成功。这里算是官渡之战真正的转折点,关键要素是:粮草供给。此胜为曹操在局部形成的真正优势,直接致使绍军主力降曹。
这场战役,曹操集团正是基于对绍军劣势、己方劣势的诊断评估(diagnosis),做出的一系列连贯行动(coherent decisions and actions),先解除己方致命劣势,到将粮草上敌方的优势变成劣势,从而一举奠定胜局。
只有认清挑战,才有机会进行优劣转换。这是我以为的战略之要义。
3 澄清概念和用词
本文讨论的核心Strategy在英语中是相对统一的,在中文语境我们常用两个词来翻译,即“战略”和“策略”。本人的理解是战略策略并不分高下,只由于战略出自战争,乃更宏观之术语环境,且现代常与企业、国家绑定,所以显得更加宏观(算是一种启发式偏见);策略概念实际上内涵外延与战略一致,但通常用于更小的语境诸如营销策略、广告策略等。但切勿将策略与战术混为一谈。
4 翻译
本人英语水平一般,翻译这篇破费了点时间,外加了一些补充和注释方便大家理解。不足之处请包涵、指出。
结语
文末,我想说关于战略,我们要提防的事情是:随时随地发生的人的认知偏见,诸如甲方乙方对目标和机会的定义,诸如个人利益与组织利益的冲突等。
在战略思考中,绝对的劣势有时可以转化成优势,而认知的偏见和随机因素却永远无法消除,这也印证了引文标题,我们面对的是overwhelming obstacles。
这是战略思考者的宿命。
——END——

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