Manicured Strategies

Many organizations think they have a strategy. In reality, they have a manicured strategic plan: A document which has all the outward signs of solidity—such as fancy trend graphs, SWOT analyses, and impressive hockey sticks— neatly summarized in a slick powerpoint package. Yet, three essential elements are often missing. 

  1. Strategic Quitting: Every strategy requires a detailed plan of all activities which have to be stopped. A new strategy requires releasing time, money, and energy first. Therefore, your ability to strategically quit, equals your ability to massively succeed. What are the necessary sacrifices to break through the status quo? 
  2. Portfolio Thinking: Every strategy requires multiple options to achieve the strategic goals. If a strategy relies on single options, it’s based on hope and is likely to fail. The art of strategic thinking is therefore based on the skill to develop options. Where do you need to think harder to create a significant portfolio of viable alternatives?
  3. Organizational development. Every strategy requires a clear approach to build new behaviors, which are necessary to be successful. The reason is that you will never get the new results that you want, from the existing behaviors that you like. Which behaviors, if you could change them right now, would have the biggest positive impact on your organization?

How would you change your strategic plan based on these three questions?

Photo Credit: iStockPhoto/Ridofranz

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