The world has been transformed from 2002 to 2022 and strategy is struggling to keep up. To be more precise those leaders using the old approach to strategy are struggling.
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.
The Strategy Time-warp
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 Well, strategy can be equally outdated, as shown in the table below: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Use the tables to determine if your approach to strategy is up-to-date and if any parts are aging or out-of-date.
Exploring the Implications of Key Changes
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: