The world's easiest "management strategy" planning course Chapter 2

世界一やさしい 「経営戦略」立案講座 第二章

Break down corporate activities into six

What are the components of a company and a bird's-eye view?

In Chapter 1, we have dealt with only quite negative topics about how harsh the business environment in Japan is. This is because I wanted you to know exactly what the company is doing.


“If you know him and you know yourself, there will be almost no hundred battles.”


This is a famous word of Sun Tzu, but it means that if you have a good grasp of the situation regardless of your enemies or allies, you will not lose no matter how many times you fight.


In order to prepare the business environment of a company and keep the company alive for a long time, it is impossible to think of the next strategy without first grasping the whole accurately. It is the words of Sun Tzu that accurately express this.


So how should you run a company and take steps to overcome the difficulties in the environment described above? I have been seriously wondering if there is any way to reverse the situation, and what is necessary not only for client companies but also for Japanese companies in the future.


And the answer I arrived at was surprisingly simple.
That is, “to create a manual for management strategy methods that anyone can use.”


Since management strategy is an important measure in business, various management strategy technologies are swirling like a typhoon.
However, I noticed that there was a blue sky in the center that no one noticed, as if I had an eye on a typhoon. That was the “manual that forms the basis of business strategy.”

The basics of management strategy that no one has made

This was around 2008 when I was still an executive at an advertising company.
It was a lot of work to create advertisements for commercials, but it was a fun job. That feeling is still the same, but at that time there was something that suddenly crossed my head.


That is the limit of the service of advertising. I didn’t have to worry about that because there were a lot of requests from the companies that were my customers, and most of them were first-class companies, but I always had some hazy questions and clumsiness in my heart. I did. At that time, there was an event that made me even more aware of my doubts.


Japan’s economy was basically improving, and as soon as employment increased, it was hit by the “Lehman shock” that shook the world.


The economies of Europe and the United States sank at a stretch, and many Japanese companies became their companions.
Our company has supported many companies by producing advertisements and helped to make profits, but when we witnessed a company that was fragile and declined due to the “Lehman shock”, how powerless the advertisement is in an emergency I was able to show off my shock. I realized that this was the limit of the advertising industry that I had been in for more than 10 years.


I asked myself, “Can I continue to be an advertising production company?” And decided to study corporate management itself in order to find the answer. I decided that it would be appropriate to get an MBA from a business school to study business administration, so I started studying business administration. In addition, I joined several academic societies on business strategy and marketing and listened to many research presentations.


What I found out was that advertising is only a small part of the overall function of corporate management. I’m ashamed to say that at that time, I was only looking at management from the field of advertising, which I was good at, and had a very short-sighted perspective.
Studying at this school has brought me discoveries, but as I took various management courses, new questions arose. The question was, “Is the business management method learned at MBA a manual?”


MBA has various subjects such as “marketing”, “finance”, and “organizational behavior”, but “what subjects are in what position and in what order and how to connect in formulating management strategies”.


That is not taught at all at the MBA school. I was supposed to be studying business strategy at a business school, but it became more complicated and I couldn’t understand what business strategy was, and I was confused in my mind. So, I thought, “If you have a manual for formulating a business strategy, you can easily organize it by studying according to it.”


A familiar example is a car driver’s license. There are subjects such as departments and practical skills for obtaining a license, but these are systematized and the know-how is properly manualized. Similarly, there are customer service manuals for part-time jobs at fast food and convenience stores, and the same measures are taken everywhere in Japan. Home appliances and personal computers also have manuals called manuals, and there are even textbooks and certifications for operating software.


Therefore, I thought that if there was such a manual in the management strategy, not only myself but also many managers could sort out the complicated issues they had and reduce the burden of formulating the management strategy. ..


At that time, I was already a person on the management side, so I began to think that if there was a summary of management strategy know-how, it could be used for employee education.


I thought that even if all the staff of the company did not get an MBA, they should be able to acquire the know-how to provide services relatively easily. If you have this management strategy manual, you can save time, labor, and money by using it for employee education.


The world is full of business books related to business strategies and employee education. I thought maybe some of them were already what I had envisioned, so I decided to look for them. Also, even if it is a little different from what you imagine, it would be nice if you could modify it to create a new manual and apply it to the development of new services.


In this way, the journey to find a “business strategy manual” like a role-playing game began. However, the idea that arose from this simple and simple question later became very heavy.


Business strategy should be of utmost concern to business owners. I thought that most companies are doing business strategy and that a lot of research has already been done, so I thought that there was already a systematic manual that could be put into practice quickly and effectively. It was shallow.


Even if I go to a bookstore or library, I can’t find a manual for business strategy that I envisioned. There are some that describe the steps and know-how for implementing business strategy, but from the knowledge I gained in practice and business administration research, all of them are “short in obi”. Longer. ” Even if they were excellent as research treatises, they were not practical enough, or even the theory was halfway missing.


I also made inquiries to private companies such as consulting companies, associations related to business strategy, and university institutions. I also read hundreds of overseas treatises. However, I can’t even find a scheme that shows the flow of business strategy formulation, let alone a business strategy manual that I think. I don’t even think it’s close to the image.


As a result, I came to the conclusion that there is no appropriate management strategy manual that says “this is it” no matter how much I look for it. On the other hand, after conducting various surveys, I gradually became aware of the reasons why no one created a manual for business strategy.

Fusion of business administration and business that does not progress

The first thing I learned was the separation of university business administration research and business. Originally, research in business administration is a field related to business, so research will be conducted on matters that reflect the actual state of management conducted in Japan and overseas and further revitalize the economy and society.


Of course, there are also researches on basic technologies in medicine, chemistry, biology, etc., and researches necessary for exploring human knowledge and curiosity such as history and literature, so I think that “hard to connect to business = useless research” etc. Not at all.


However, what I was looking for at that time was research on practical business administration that is directly linked to business. However, the people who study in the field of business management are just researchers, and there are not many people who have experience in business. In addition, there are strict rules for writing a treatise. If you do not follow this rule, it will not be accepted as a treatise. If the treatise is not accepted, the professor will not be able to defend his authority or position, and the student will not be able to obtain a degree or graduate. As a result, this structure of the academic world emphasizes the passage of peer review, and is becoming more and more distant from the aspects of integrated thinking, innovative research, and practical application. Therefore, it was far from what I was looking for, and all of them did not directly affect my heart.


Furthermore, researchers mainly teach at universities, and especially in Japan, the traditional “lecture to students” style is the main focus. Recently, it seems that the number of practical lessons that incorporate various simulated elements in seminars and practical training is increasing, but I have the impression that the gap between academics and business is still in the future. Overseas universities are turning to a little more practical application.


In this way, it seems unlikely that the academic community will move to formulate an integrated theory of business strategy, and of course, there is no movement to formulate a manual that can be applied to business.


Of course, there are things that are close to the integration theory of business strategy that I think, such as “holistic marketing” and “integrated marketing communication (IMC)” by Philip Kotler, a well-known American business scholar in marketing theory. However, these were limited to the marketing domain and were not enough theories to meet my ideals.

Most of the business strategies of a company are self-styled

From this background, I decided to rely on various methods to find out what kind of management strategy manuals are available for many leading companies that are actually engaged in management and developing their businesses. I’ve been ashamed to ask my peers, such as companies, consulting firms, and major advertising agencies I’ve worked with.


However, no matter how I listened to it, there was no company that had the kind of business strategy manual or scheme that I envisioned.


To be precise, it’s not without it. However, there are manuals related to the services of each company and employee education manuals, and there was no manual that included what could be called a “management strategy.”
However, companies continue their business activities every day. New products and services that are considered to be the first in the industry are appearing one after another. Product version upgrades are steadily progressing. Why doesn’t the “basics of business strategy” appear even though the economy is moving like this? What are the consulting companies that should be managers and strategic partners of a company learning the knowledge of business strategy? I was wondering, listening to everything, and I was even more confused.


They answered my question:


“I studied for myself”


“I was taught by my boss and seniors.”


“I learned at the seminar”


“I learned at MBA”


“The consulting company taught me”




And finally, I got an answer like this.


“I don’t remember studying anything”


Some of these respondents are from well-known companies with “super” that you all know. I was stunned. In the end, I couldn’t get a clear answer from anyone.


From corporate managers and executives to major consulting companies and major advertising agencies, management strategies combine a wide variety of methods and information with their own experience, and build their own unique management strategy methods that cannot be applied elsewhere. I was doing it.


It is certain that the social environment is highly uncertain due to the frequent occurrence of “unexpected” events, including not only social and economic issues but also geopolitical issues, as well as the natural environment and accidents. .. In such an era, if you rely on patterns and manuals, there is a risk that innovation will not occur or you will not be able to respond to changes in the market environment, which will hinder the development of your corporate culture.


However, if you suddenly enter the actual battle without learning the basics of management, you will definitely lose. I think so may be because I spent my youth in karate.


As with all sports, the basics are important to becoming a strong player. Especially in karate, “type” is very important. The ideal training process, from not only karate but also ancient Japanese martial arts to tea ceremony, is called “shuhari”.


The “defense” of “shuhari” is to begin as a beginner, ask a master to teach, and learn the basic techniques such as the way of thinking and “type”. In other words, it is the beginning of training.
After going through the “defense” stage, the next step is to interpret and select the “type” in your own way, and if you have your own ideas or novel patterns, take them in and make them your own. This is called “breaking” because it is also necessary to break the “type” learned in “defense”.


Once you have mastered your own style and ideas, you will become a teacher and follow your own path. This is the final stage of creating and establishing something new, and is called “separation” because it separates from traditional teachers and schools.
This “shuhari” is an ideal process not only for “road” training but also for business, and is shown in three steps. As a person who has walked the path of karate, it has already permeated the body, and it is a way of thinking that really fits nicely.


As a result of searching for a management strategy manual, it was a shock to me that there was no management training guideline or employee education system based on this “shuhari”.


This was just the other day, but as a “conclusion to the search for a business strategy manual,” I had the opportunity to discuss the need for a business strategy manual with a professor at a certain university.
At that time, the professor asked the following questions.


Is there any meaning in a management strategy manual in a rapidly changing market such as AI (artificial intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things = services and businesses provided by connecting devices via the Internet without human intervention)? ”


I received it and asked the professor.


“Then, what kind of knowledge do you have and how do you propose when the teacher provides management support for a company? Is it all left to the company?”


In addition, I asked a question.


“Companies just want to take the next step, solving problems. For example, the current situation is that the market is changing rapidly, consumer awareness is changing, and their products are being replaced by other services. It already exists. If the managers consult with us with a sense of crisis, how would the teacher answer? ”


After a brief silence, the professor began to speak some methodologies, often choppy. I won’t go into details about the content, but I thought it was an honest and mundane answer, so I said:


“Is the measure your own idea, or is it born from some kind of standard (type)?”


This exchange may have been like a Zen question and answer.


It may be strange to stick to the “type” because it is a rapidly changing market environment. However, I think that it is necessary to once master the “type” of strategy and create a unique method from it. I tried hard to convey it, but it ended up with parallel lines.
From this question and answer, I think that many people involved in corporate strategy, such as professors, do not need to create a manual that is the “type” of strategy, or it is impossible to create a manual. Isn’t it?


Even if you are the owner of a company that has been inclined or went bankrupt, you should have some know-how because you have been running the company up to that point. But I’m facing a crisis because I’ve misunderstood something somewhere.
Here, the management needs to take the next step, but a big barrier in strategy formulation stands up. It’s a question of how to develop a strategy to overcome the crisis in situations that have never been experienced before.
Should I read a huge number of books? Will I go to a school such as MBA to study now? I don’t have that time. Most of the time, you will seek power from a company that can formulate and support your business strategy. So how do you choose the best support company? A new challenge arises.


If you spend a considerable amount of money to select a support company, some suggestions will be made. But it’s probably a different idea than we’ve been doing. Because the previous method has failed. Business owners encounter the following challenges here. It is the task of determining whether the proposed new strategy is correct.


“It’s okay because it’s a famous consulting company.”


Is it really okay to put it into practice? In this way, a huge amount of money is invested without any grounds, and after the turmoil, the company’s stray begins.


As far as I know, there are only a few managers who have been able to rebuild the company and build new strategies in this way.
In order not to get lost in management like this, it is necessary for someone to unify the integrated theory of strategy and complete the basic form of the manual. I believe that Japanese companies will become stronger if they understand the manual, systematically learn corporate strategy, and create many managers with high strategic literacy.
However, no one tries to complete the manual. That’s why I decided I had to do it.


In the academic world, we emphasize academic analysis and delve into previous research, so we can look into the depths, but we cannot expect integration with business.
However, management has no incentive to develop an integrated manual. That’s because you only have to develop your own industry, or even your own strategy. Rather, if it were a strategy manual that we developed, we wouldn’t want to be known to our competitors.


As for the method of handing over the management to the successor, it is only necessary to select a person who can inherit the tradition of the company or a person who can be expected. If you are not in your company, I think that there is no problem if you pull out from other companies.


However, in such a way, the reality is that the decline in business performance of companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, has plummeted, leading to the worst consequences such as bankruptcy. That is why I wanted to complete a management strategy manual and scheme that maintained a certain level here and save as many companies as possible.
Regarding corporate management, the latest theories and technologies are born every day in a severe storm like a typhoon. However, there was nothing in the eye part, that is, the foundation part, which was the center of the typhoon, and it was completely missing.


This is the “blue sky in the center of the typhoon” that I found. In this way, I realized that the development of a manual for business strategy was absolutely necessary for Japanese companies to take on new revitalization.


However, although it can be said that the development of a manual for business strategy can be said in a word, the story is different when it comes to actually making it. It was really hard work.


The first thing I started with was to re-examine something similar to the business strategy manual I was looking for. If I found the one that was closest to the management strategy manual that I thought of, I thought that I should just improve it. The manual resumed its existence investigation, asked people around, and read all the materials and treatises again. As a result of spending two years on this work, I came to the conclusion that there is no reference for the management strategy manual even as a premise for improvement. This was also a signal that I decided that I had to develop the business strategy manual on my own.


However, as I gained a lot of knowledge, when I imagined the difficulty of developing a business strategy manual that would start from now on, I was stunned and lost myself. After all, I was overwhelmed by the amount of information and complexity. No one should have tried to systematize the business strategy scheme.
Then I suddenly remembered the group assignment I had at the business school.


Business schools offer practical, member-participatory tasks. One of them was the formulation of management strategies for major home appliance manufacturers. As a group leader, I realized that the existing framework (*) I learned at business school could not solve management issues. Then, I decided to make a new one, started the framework development as a team, formulated the strategy of the home appliance maker using the original framework, and made a presentation.


* A framework is an analysis tool and thinking framework that is useful for business strategy, business improvement, problem solving, etc. A systematic summary of logical thinking and ideas required for business, which are often taught by MBAs. SWOT analysis, five force analysis, etc. can be mentioned.


The professor at that time was a person who used to work for a major foreign-affiliated consulting firm. Our presentation seemed to work, but for some reason we got angry at creating a new framework and the group’s reputation was downgraded.
However, my colleagues understood that “someday, this framework will come to light.”


Later, when I met this professor again, I heard that I was the only one who created the framework in class, and I was so surprised that I just lowered my evaluation.


Aside from that, I pulled out the framework I made at the time, reviewed it again, and maybe it could be used, “I instinctively.
The framework that I seriously considered at that time was rough-cut, but it created an atmosphere that could be the basis of the business strategy manual that I was looking for. Recalling what the MBA group members said, “I’ll be in the sun someday,” I decided to improve this framework.

Break down corporate activities into "six basics" and formulate management strategies

There are many subjects such as “finance,” “organizational behavior,” and “HRM (human resource management = personnel management method that comprehensively manages employees)” when it comes to management strategy. First, we organized and categorized strategic methods and words used by theme.


Next we went to delve into the meaning of the word. What is the difference between promotion and marketing? What is the actual branding method? What is the difference between business strategy and business strategy? What is the appropriate order to implement a business strategy? Based on this analysis, we organized the order of strategy formulation and created a rough “map”.
Furthermore, the work of fitting detailed strategic methods into the “map” of this management strategy was carried out, and the prototype of a practical management strategy manual was completed. However, it is not possible to formulate a management strategy with this alone. In order to apply it in practice, it is necessary to further pack the latest various strategic technologies into this management strategy manual. Moreover, the management strategy manual is completed for the first time by shaping it into something that everyone can understand and making it usable.


Let’s explain the management strategy manual that has been completed through this process.


As mentioned at the beginning, “strategy” is a military term. It may be unscrupulous in such an era, but the process of war is as follows. The first thing to do is research and analysis. You need to investigate the number of enemy troops and weapons to understand the number of troops and weapons in your country and the power they exert.


In addition, we must set a goal to beat the enemy and let not only the soldiers but also the people share that goal.
Next, consider what kind of armaments and troops you will build. For example, if you find an enemy’s weaknesses through research, you’ll need to build armaments to effectively poke them and plan how to attack them. This is the strategy.
After the strategy is decided, prepare the appropriate weapons and troops, and decide the timing and action as to how to fight in an advantageous way.


In this way, we will prepare and enter the actual battle. We will fight by putting in the force according to the strategy. Once the battle is over, you need to analyze the results, whether you win or lose. As a result, the next direction will be decided, whether to investigate further, change the strategy, change the armament, or raise the white flag. This is the flow of a series of wars.
The business strategy manual I think is similar to the way of war, and in a sense I was able to put it into a very simple pattern.


Now, let’s introduce what kind of procedure (scheme) will be used to formulate an actual management strategy.
First, the activity elements of a company are decomposed into the following six. Simply plot the elements in a circle to complete the scheme.


In fact, business strategy planning can be formulated with only these six elements.


“1. Survey / Analysis”
“2. Philosophy / Business Domain”
“3. Business Strategy”
“4. Marketing”
“5. Management”
“6. Operation”

This management strategy scheme is named “6e” because it consists of six elements as mentioned above. “6e” looks like a simple structure, but you can get a bird’s-eye view of all the items necessary for corporate strategy.


Where are the goals we envision, and where and how should we place them to achieve them? It depends on the company and the thinking of the management. However, what to do at what timing should be common to all companies. Rather than vaguely envisioning it in my head, visualization using this figure makes it clear when and what to do.


More importantly, you can accurately convey the image of your strategy to other people, such as executives and employees. This allows management and employees to share the same goals and processes, and work together to move forward.


This scheme, which is based on “6e”, is always the best by deepening research by constantly incorporating feedback from practice, development of various new strategic technologies, and the latest papers published in the field of business administration. We are continuing to revise it to become a cutting-edge management strategy scheme.


At our company, it is based on my experience of producing advertisements, so when I actually asked for support with “6e”, from the formulation of management strategy, “weapons (video, WEB, event, Our strength is that we can propose the deployment of “tools such as graphics”) and IT to improve the business environment. It can be said that the biggest feature is that “6e” is positioned as a guideline for that.


And this management strategy scheme has been adopted by more than 1000 companies so far. The success record has been accumulated as new know-how through further verification and analysis, and has become a large database. “6e” is evolving day by day like a living thing.


Now, let’s start explaining each part of the business strategy from the next chapter, but let’s also formulate the business strategy of your company.
However, the following precautions must be explained in advance.


The six basics of business strategy that I will explain are just an introduction to the basics of business strategy. When it comes to introducing all the essences of business strategy, that is not possible with the number of pages in this book. (Even this amount was offended by the publisher), so this book is limited to the components of corporate strategy and some examples.
Therefore, for various management strategy know-how that cannot be introduced, please look for books related to each part. I think that if we formulate a management plan in this way, the accuracy will be considerably higher.


Also, if your position is not an executive, try to formulate your company’s management strategy according to the items. Surprisingly, new management strategies may be formulated, and new discoveries may be made. Certainly, when our company formulates a management strategy for a client, the actual site certainly involves complicated circumstances, and the management plan often has about 300 pages.


Still, I think it’s worth reaffirming the basics of each part in this book.