Imagine reaching into your pocket to get your phone and instead of finding your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, you find a 2002 Motorola that opens like a clamshell and can only make phone calls or receive text messages. Well, that is a metaphor for what is happening when leaders engage with strategy – many are using old and clumsy technologies.
It is hard to imagine going back to using an antique mobile, without a color touch screen, GPS, Youtube and mobile data. Well, strategy can be equally outdated, as shown in the table below:
The changes shown above are profound, but essential to the requirements of competing in a fast changing world. There are other changes too, as shown in the next table:
Use the tables to determine if your approach to strategy is up-to-date and if any parts are aging or out-of-date.
To explore some of these changes in more detail, let’s return to the first list of changes in strategy between 2002 and 2022. Below you will find each change and a checklist that you can apply to your own strategy.
1. From ‘strategy as a document’ to ‘strategy as a journey / an ongoing dialog’.
‘The old approach isn’t working’ said the Division Head in an exasperated tone. ‘For a start, it is taking too much time…’ she added. ‘Then at the end of the multi-year planning cycle, we end up with lengthy documents that sit on the shelf and big slide decks that only a few ever see’ she continued.
2. From ‘Rigid – 3-5 strategic planning cycle’ to ‘Agile – Plan-Do-Review’
3. From ‘Strategy & Execution are Separate’ to ‘Strategy & Execution are ONE’
4. From ‘Logic & Analysis’ to ‘New Insights, Passion & Imagination’
5. From ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’ to ‘Balancing Confidence & Ambition’
6. From ‘Get to a Decision’ to ‘Explore the Choices/Options (& tradeoffs)’
Here is a summary checklist for the next 5 changes in strategy between 2002 and 2022: