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Great strategic choices

Strategy that works

Solid choices, grounded in operational reality, winning results

Photo: Javier Allegue Barros (Unsplash)

Is your strategy...
Or does it...
  • ...understood by everyone in the organisation, clearly identifying how all can contribute to make it happen?

  • ...mindful of execution, offering practical guidance to make everyday decisions?

  • ...built on clear strategic choices, describing a valid theory of advantage?

  • ...focused on creating a successful future?

  • ...aimed at winning with your customers?​

  • ...create confusion and disengagement?

  • ...present lofty ambitions with little practical relevance for most people?

  • ...comprise a wish list of good things to have (and that everybody else also wants to have)?

  • ...over-analyse the past, with outdated tools offering little actionable conclusions?

  • ...merely aim to improve your financial results? 

Is strategy development...

  • ...completed in only 4-8 weeks, following a simple, proven process which generates buy-in from all stakeholders?

  • ...equipping your core core team to run future strategy development cycles on their own?

Or is it...

  • ...a complicated, secretive process taking many months, resulting in a thick slide deck which needs to be "sold" to the organisation?

  • ...creating dependence on consultants to update their analyses for the next cycle?


Source: Adapted from "Playing to Win", Roger L. Martin et al.

Three simple steps towards a strategy that works


Define strategic problem and create possibilities

Strategy should be a problem-solving exercise. That requires a specific problem to be solved. And it also requires several distinct possibilities from which to choose to  solve the problem.


Specify conditions to make the choice

Make the conditions explicit under which each possibility would be a great choice. Then test which of these conditions are true and make an informed choice.


Frame next level choices and map initiatives

Frame the choices other entities (functions, business units, brands) need to make to be consistent with the strategy. Map initiatives to build the capabilities and systems needed to bring the strategy to life.


Source: Adapted from "Playing to Win", Roger L. Martin et al.

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