(2022-07-14) Cutler Tbm3052 Why Dont We Have A Strategy

John Cutler TBM 30/52: Why Don’t We Have a Strategy? A product leader recently told me: "The system is not built for me to think. The system is built for me to be reactionary." Why? The theory goes that ideas are cheap, and execution is everything.

A business strategy is not just thinking;

But how many presentations jump straight into priority pillars, goals, and "high-level projects"? Look, it is a Grecian temple with a roof and pillars!

Theory #1

A lot of what people think of as strategic malpractice is more about lack of time, fatigue, fear of conflict, and a healthy level of skepticism and pragmatism. Strategy nerds ignore this, and immediately assume people are incompetent.

Theory #2

Even if people don't ask for it, it is vital to discuss things like diagnosis, the kernel, and guiding policies.

If only a small circle understands the strategy, then only the small circle (that set the first, wrong plan) can change the plan. If it turns out the plan doesn't work, how do you change the plan?

Note how Richard Rumelt describes "plausible and feasible immediate action," not infallible plans (in Crux). When those actions fail, the fallback is the set of guiding policies

Theory #3

By being thoughtful and public about communicating strategy, you help build everyone's critical strategic abilities

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