Crafting Smart Strategy

Making strategy work is more difficult than strategy making.
— Lawrence Hrebiniak

Strengthen your Strategy

The conversational capacity of your team determines the strength of your strategy. If there is a gap between what you’re working together to accomplish and how you’re working together to accomplish it, you’ve got a problem. A strategy you can’t implement isn’t much of a strategy.

This is not a strategy workshop. We’re not experts in strategy. We’re experts in making strategies work.  

With that in mind, in this workshop we’ll explore how to approach strategy in a more actionable and agile way, and to use that approach to strengthen your collective ability to align your conversational behavior with your organizational purpose. The goal is to create a virtuous cycle by using your collective conversational capacity to strengthen your strategy, and to use your strategy to enhance your collective conversational capacity

It’s a great way to launch your strategy process, or to reinforce one that is already in place.

A Strategic Competence

Fundamentally, a strategy is a cascade of conversations and choices that gets everyone on the same page about where you’re going to go and how you’re going to get there. This makes conversational capacity – your team’s ability to engage in learning-focused dialogue in the pursuit of smart choices – a strategic competence.

This is true for two main reasons:

  1. Implementation: when your conversational capacity is too low the choices you make, as strategy expert Roger Martin puts it, about where you will play and how you will win are imbued with all force and effectiveness of a typical New Year’s resolution. If you and your team lack the ability to converse in the sweet spot when it counts, you don’t have a strategy – you have a mess.
  2. Agility: Given the increasingly complex, fast-paced, and unpredictable world in which we live, an effective strategy needs to be more nimble, which requires a heightened ability to reflect, respond, change, and adapt. You still need to find a competitive niche and exploit it. That hasn’t changed. But now more than ever you also need the ability to recognize important changes in the environment and to rapidly adjust your strategy to fit these new realities. So in addition to creating a strong strategic focus you should build our organization’s capacity for adaptive learning or you may find you may get trapped in ideas about “where to play” and “how to win” that are perfectly suited to a world that no longer exists.

Strategy as Practice

The good news is that orchestrating a cascade of strategic conversations and choices – one of the most important activities in any organization – provides an excellent way to build your collective conversational capacity.

Learning objectives:

In this workshop participants will learn to create the following:

  • A clear understanding of the business strategy – what the organization chooses to do, and what it chooses not to do – that generates cohesive action throughout the enterprise.
  • High conversational capacity – the ability to create fit between the conversational behavior in the business and the strategy of the business.
  • Clear, consistent, and effective decision-making.
  • Robust and reliable feedback loops that facilitate the flow of critical information up the chain of command.
  • An organization in which everyone is engaged in the strategy — not just a handful of people at the top.

Complementary Workshops

Length: 2 hours

Format: Virtual or in-person