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If Executive Teams design their own Strategy, they will be more committed to execute that Strategy. How to do this?

Strategy Design Philosophy

First of all, Executive Teams that design their own Strategy will be committed to executing that Strategy, because it's theirs. Secondly, strategy should be soundly rooted in a deep understanding of both the context and the customers and we put the customers in the center of the strategy formulation process. Thirdly, there are different roads that lead to Rome, stretch the team to come up with as many ideas as possible, instead of going for the single first identified option. Last but not least we add purpose to the discussion, how does this Strategy contribute to society and minimize harmful impact to the world?

Design Thinking for Strategy Formulation

We apply design thinking for Strategy Formulation, what does that mean?

  • Contextual Analysis. The Executive Team conducts full analysis of contextual factors themselves. Customer trends, technology changes, competitive landscape, changes in rules and regulations, etc.

  • Client Central. Every strategy design centers around a deeper understanding of your clients. What are the needs that you don't address or the problem that you don't solve? Which segments do we focus on too much and which profitable segments do we miss?

  • Set Your Ambition (WHAT).  Bases on the contextual findings, the Executive Team first shapes the picture of the best possible future 3 to 5 years from now. Beyond only looking at top and bottom line, this shows an exciting, tangible, meaningful and ambitious picture of the future. The Executive Team then will also quantify 'what success looks like' at that point in the future. If this is done well, then like a magnet this new ambition starts pulling people towards it.

  • Define Your Strategy (HOW). The Strategy then defines all choices about what to do and what not do that will help you to reach your ambition. This incorporates both PROPOSITION (to who do you deliver what value, through which products and services, delivered through which channels and through what kind of relationship) and DELIVERY (how to produce this value, how to make the products and services, which processes and assets are unique to your business, which partnerships do you form).

  • Multiple Options. The best ideas don't come from just developing one idea. Traditionally strategies are formulated through hypotheses about what is most likely to happen and identification of what our most critical issues are. To then find one best answer, typically formulated by others than the Executive Team themselves. Design thinking recognizes that there are several options and you need to push yourself to explore more ideas. 

  • Competing Entrepreneurs. To create the right setting, we split the Executive Team in three teams and we put them in the setting in which they've recently started up their own business in the same industry. We let them compete against each other to find the best strategic choices. All with the purpose to find the best ideas and to create energy and commitment around those ideas.

  • Prioritization and Testing. We then select the best ideas on the table. For these ideas a more tangible and detailed picture is developed, to then test these ideas in pilots, evaluate and adjust before rolling out in the larger organization.

  • Purpose. For every strategy the Executive Team also keeps in mind how this truly contributes to society and how it makes the world a better place. 

  • Visualization. Through our Strategy Framework all aspects of the Strategy come to live easily and it helps to flexibly play around with the concepts.  

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