Strategy Workshop

Strategy Workshop

Strategy is a set of principles that guides decisions and actions to achieve organizational objectives. This workshop presents materials and models to help you design and articulate your value proposition and business model and manage performance over time.

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4 Lessons

This workshop and associated lessons and topics are under construction.

Managing Strategy

Kim Warren says, “An organization’s strategy is how it tries to reach its objectives.” Furthermore, he asserts, “Actions, choices and decisions by an organization, and changes in external conditions are ‘strategic’ if they significantly affect medium- to long-term performance.” We agree.

The management of strategy consists of three components:

  • Choosing objectives
  • Positioning the organization relative to competitors
  • Steering progress over time

The objectives of your organization are yours to determine. They are likely to change over time.

Your positioning, once tested by the market, usually won’t change except through extension to new opportunities. In this workshop, we’ll present tools and frameworks for positioning your organization through the articulation of your value proposition and business model.

Most of the work of strategy relates to execution or delivery. Consequently, we’ll then introduce strategy dynamics, which addresses the identification and management of key resources over time. What resources or accumulations are necessary to achieve your objectives? How do you develop such resources and over what timeframes?

Learn and Adapt

Your strategy should provide answers to several key questions:

  • Whom will you serve?
  • How will you deliver sustained, differentiated value?
  • What resources will you require, and how will you gain access to them?
  • What actions must you take and over what period of time?

At best, such answers will be tentative and conditional. After all, data is often scarce, our knowledge is imperfect, and the world changes. Nevertheless, explicit assumptions are testable assumptions. Because they are testable, you can identify and correct errors and adapt your strategy faster and more effectively than otherwise might be the case.

Because business is complex, the development and execution of strategy benefits from cognitive diversity. So, we’ll suggest ways in which you can accelerate your learning through productive conversations with others.

Design Elements

The design of this workshop is guided by the following principles:

  • Collaboration—Developing a business strategy is a complex endeavor that benefits from cognitive diversity. Seek it out and add value to the conversation.
  • Productive feedback—Efficient learning is a function of receiving both reinforcing (do more of something) and balancing (do less of something) feedback.
  • Rapid iteration—In the face of uncertainty, rapid navigation of the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act (“OODA”) cycle yields superior results—even when starting with imperfect information and models.
  • Dynamic thinking—Strategy is intended to address performance over time. Consequently, it requires thinking in “movies” rather than in “snapshots”.
  • Visual models—We can only act on the models in our heads. Visual representations help translate complex ideas into actionable mental models.

Recommended Reading

This workshop makes use of the concepts and tools presented in the following books:

Although not required, they are highly recommended.