The Essence of Strategy: Simplify, Articulate, Execute

In my journey through the realms of strategic planning and execution, a revelation has transformed my perspective.

I used to view them as an intricate labyrinth demanding unwavering attention. But, over 25 years of collaboration with hundreds of clients and brilliant minds, I have come to realize that the most effective strategies are astonishingly simple.

True mastery doesn’t live in complexity. It lives in uncovering the simple elements that captivate your customers and provide your competitive edge.

Consider these simple, yet effective thought frameworks for good strategic planning:

    • The Hedgehog and the Flywheel: Created by Jim Collins, this model guides focus and ignites positive momentum
    • The Fourth Option: Proposed by Kaihan Krippendorf, this framework explores overlooked strategic concepts to invigorate your strategy
    • Blue Ocean Strategy: A captivating approach that maps your unique value and avoids commoditization
    • Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?: A Harvard Business Review article that encapsulates strategy in a concise Venn diagram
    • The Five Forces: Michael Porter’s model for assessing competitive forces in your industry.

If you think you already possess a flawless strategy, the true test lies in running it through one of these models.

And when it comes to execution, the One-Page Strategic Plan, from the book Scaling Up (to which I had the privilege of contributing), is an elegant, simple framework to bring any strategy to life. It also helps to identify who, on your team excels at execution, and who doesn’t.

Your strategic plan isn’t worth anything if you can’t execute it well.

The Challenge

    • Can you articulate your company’s strategy in under 30 seconds?
    • Which of the models above would help you to have a more impactful strategic plan?

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