Organisations often spend quite some time developing, renewing or refreshing their strategies. This is an important exercise, which will always be a key part of the role of any manager – whether you are running a commercial company or a non-for-profit organisation such as a national or international sports federation.

Sometimes managers get it right and they are successful; sometimes they get it wrong, and are not.

When the latter is the case, it is quite often because they tend to only focus on the demand side of their organisation. Many managers tend to confuse strategy with molding the organisation around what customers/members want, asking more marketing-driven questions such as ‘How we can make them happy?’ and ‘How can we engage with them more’? This is where organisations get their value proposition from.

But successful strategies, as Professor Michael Porter says, also consider how internal activities and process can be aligned and improved – the supply side. What are the aspects that, internally, can be made more efficient and effective? By also looking inwards at this side of your organisation, can you truly find the hidden inefficiencies that hinder your work and the hidden assets that remain unfulfilled.

So next time you consider your organisation’s strategy, try to spend as much time looking inwards (supply side) as outwards (demand side). By doing so, you will drastically improve your chances of success.

BCW Sports practice is the sport unit of global advisory firm Burson-Marsteller. We provide strategy and communication advice for sport clients around the world. For more information: