STRATEGIC AMBITION

What is a strategic ambition?

A strategic ambition is a bold aspiration for what a company can achieve. It helps to raise the collective level of ambition to the scale of the opportunity or threat presented by disruptive market innovation. It helps to ensure that companies commit the right level of effort and resource to pursue their growth goals.

Why is having a strategic ambition important for a business?

Setting a higher level of ambition helps to stretch an established organization beyond incremental improvements to the existing business. Without a clear strategic ambition a company will revert to delivering short-term outcomes that contribute to quarterly earnings, but may not enhance long-term growth prospects and even leave the company vulnerable to disruption.

What is the purpose of a strategic ambition?

The purpose of a strategic ambition is to motivate employees to achieve extraordinary results, it sets expectations for what the firm wants to achieve, and provides the strategic logic for exploration beyond a core market. A good strategic ambition provides managers with a license to explore, encouraging them to build new ventures in emerging growth areas.

What should be included in a strategic ambition?

A strategic ambition should include three dimensions – emotional, logical, and aspirational. An ambition needs to have an emotionally compelling quality that evokes a higher purpose. It also needs to be aspirational about performance, so that you can tell if you are making progress, and it should be logical, providing guidance on what to do differently.

What is the difference between a strategic ambition and a company’s values?

A strategic ambition is a statement of what a company will achieve, versus a company’s values are what they believe to be true, they are principles that guide their actions at all times.

How is a strategic ambition different from a firm’s vision statement?

Sometimes there is no difference between a vision and a strategic ambition. However, vision statements have become increasing vague and innocuous. As a consequence, they lack a point of view on what the company will achieve, so provide no guidance to employees. Strategic ambition is synonymous with the concept of strategic intent.

What are examples of strategic ambitions? – Some examples of strategic ambition are:

  • Ajay Banga at Mastercard redefined the company’s market from purely credit card processing to wider digital payments, by saying they would “Wage a War on Cash” converting manual transactions to digital.
  • Analog Devices, Inc. evokes a social cause when it talks about ‘Innovating for Humanity.
  • SpaceX’s is audacious to “Make Humans Multiplanetary.”
  • General Motors’ vision to Sell Only Zero Tailpipe Emissions Vehicles by 2035 qualifies as strategic ambition.

Related Content:

Related Terms: