American poet Theodore Roethke once wrote, "In a dark time, the eye begins to see." Certainly, we would all agree that the current global financial crisis can be described as "a dark time." But, as Roethke's phrase suggests, this is also an opportunity to really see--to see and better understand the way the global economy works and how we can work more effectively within it.
This is especially true when we're talking about business strategy. As important as it is when times are good, sound strategy plays an even more critical role when times are difficult. It is during such tumultuous times that we must sharpen our focus and truly understand what's going on as we struggle to survive and surmount our problems. And when we intensify our efforts during such dark times, we do indeed begin to see.
Research, information and analysis all play a critical role in the development of business strategy. In discussing this role at Boeing, it's useful to consider four questions:
-- What are the pillars of our strategy?
-- What kind of information do we collect and analyze in formulating strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes?
-- How does this information specifically influence our strategy?
-- What are some of the challenges encountered in developing strategy for BCA?
Every company wants to be as successful as possible. But as we all know, while there is always an element of chance and luck involved, success is not an accident. It is the logical result of a thoughtful, planned approach to the business. A well-conceived and properly executed strategy is an essential core element in this approach.
A business strategy can be based on many different things. But an effective business strategy begins with information and understanding. This information and understanding comes from comprehensive research, study and analysis of several factors, including:
-- Well informed perspective of business environment
-- Detailed customer knowledge and focus
-- Market-driving products and services
-- A skilled and motivated team
To more precisely explain what "developing an informed perspective for a successful strategy" means, let's turn to that second question: What kind of information do we collect and analyze in formulating strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes?
One major area of focus is the business environment. We have identified many near-term challenges in this environment. Some of the key challenges we are carefully considering right now as we continue to develop and refine our business strategy include:
-- Recessionary world economy
-- Financial market crisis
-- Volatile oil prices
-- Traffic growth slowing
-- Environmental pressures
-- Infrastructure congestion
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