Some rules for strategy
My business research distills many strategy reports down to the following:
1. Close to the customer: If your customers succeed, so do you. Let them drive strategy.
2. Actions add value: Be experimental, work in stages, manage risks, but get on with it. Too much planning creates analysis paralysis.
3. Create a culture: If you don't it will create itself. I like the balanced scorecard, and "the three rules" see below.
4. Ethical vision: Try and follow the Golden Rule in dealings with all customers, competitors, stakeholders and employers.
5. Think differently: But you can't do any better if everyone is the same as everyone else.
6. Seek insight: Insight makes your company low risk, and drives performance and sales.
7. Work intensely: Because intensity separates the best from the average.
8. Enjoy your work: it gives you a long term competitive advantage over someone who doesn't.
Raynor and Ahmed show in their book "the three rules"
1. Better before cheaper: in other words, compete on differentiators other than price.
2. Revenue before cost: that is, prioritize increasing revenue over reducing costs.
3. There are no other rules: so change anything you must to follow Rules 1 and 2.
See also their HBR article