Monday, June 30, 2014

Do We Have the Correct Strategy?

There is no “factual” way to know the answer to this question.

And it drives a lot of people mad.

But strategy is not a math question with right or wrong answers.  You “create” a strategy based on your aspirations and, yes, some hearty analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  But there is no way to tell if you have created the “correct” strategy.

Recently, Roger Martin – former Dean of the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto – had a great blog entitled “Why Smart People Struggle with Strategy.”  His main point is that “smart” people are used to finding the “right” answers.  And the ambiguity of strategy creation vexes them.  A smart student in one of my graduate classes once suggested he could create a logarithm to discern a correct strategy. No. Can’t be done! 

What you can do is to create a thoughtful process that involves multiple stakeholders and is led by insightful, caring people.  Take your time and work the process.  Once you have created your strategy then make sure to list your assumptions so you can monitor those as you implement the strategy.

And, of course, implementation is key.  Aimlessly taking action without a strategy is a bad idea. But the poor execution of a great strategy will get you nowhere. An excellent strategy with superior implementation will make a tremendous Mission Impact.

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

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