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Seven Strata of Strategy by Verne Harnish "Growth Guy"

" The challenge is balancing all the complexities of strategy while keeping it coherent and simple."

It’s no secret that the recession has decimated the building industry the last few years. But Jeff Booth’s company, BuildDirect.com, isn’t hurting. It sells building materials at a steep discount through its website, thanks to arrangements to ship directly from manufacturers. “It’s almost like an online Costco of building materials,” says Booth, president and CEO. Expecting his sales to increase by more than 20% this year, Booth has increased his staff by about 10% to 53 people. What makes BuildDirect.com thrive in a struggling industry is its growth strategy.  And my recent research involving more than 3,000 CEOs and executives from around the world confirms that strategy is their #1 focus this decade, as companies rethink their fundamental approach to changing markets.

The challenge is balancing all the complexities of strategy while keeping it coherent and simple.  Your strategy must tell a simple story, yet touch on what I call the Seven Strata of Strategy.  Booth and his partner are masters’ at all seven strata –  principles that every business must master and integrate to achieve its potential in today’s uncertain global economy.

Here’s a checklist that you can use at your own company.

  • Choose the words you want to own in your marketplace
  • Offer a unique brand promise
  • Make it hurt to break your promise
  • Create a one-PHRASE strategy
  • Support your one-PHRASE strategy with differentiating actions
  • Establish your "X Factor"
  • Measure your profit per X and BHAG

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