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50 Ideas to Improve Your Strategic Thinking


I’ve been mapping out my strategy thinking lately. 

And, I wanted to do a quick hitter this morning to share some quick take-homes.

So 50 ways to think about strategy or improve your strategy.

  1. Think of strategy using two eyes: the analyst and the architect. One is rooted in frameworks and the past. The other is rooted in creativity and the possible. 
  2. Look for reasons why things have worked. 
  3. Strategy is about how to make luck less of a requirement for success. 
  4. Frameworks are great for analysis, not always for action. 
  5. Diagnosis/Strategy/Tactics
  6. Choice/Focus/Action
  7. Remember the Differentiation Gap. The distance between where you are in your mind versus where you are in the market’s mind determines if you are a commodity or not. 
  8. Pricing Power can improve or detract from your strategy. 
  9. Emergent Strategy and the ideas driving it don’t give you an excuse for not planning. 
  10. The opposite of a good idea can be a good idea.
  11. Think about the things that aren’t going to change. 
  12. Think about the things that can be changed. 
  13. “What would have to be true?”
  14. Understand your customers.
  15. Good strategist aren’t afraid to abandon products and services. 
  16. Good strategy is good brand strategy. 
  17. Strategy isn’t a business plan.
  18. Strategy isn’t data analysis.
  19. Strategy isn’t a mission or vision statement.
  20. Focus on making your strategy clear, compelling, and simple.
  21. Good strategy isn’t just a top down exercise. Great strategy ideas can come from anywhere. 
  22. Strategy requires adaptation. 
  23. Strategy is about creating value. 
  24. For money to be paid, value must be created. 
  25. What are your buyer’s motivations?
  26. What do they value?
  27. Do you know the difference between cause and effect?
  28. What is the downside? Is it acceptable? 
  29. Strategy requires critical thinking.
  30. The only certainty is uncertainty. 
  31. Your strategy must balance the past, present, and future. 
  32. Are you thinking through the perennial issues?
  33. Profitability is linked to scarcity. 
  34. Why is your product or service scarce? Number of items? Amount of time? What?
  35. Are you picking the right customers?
  36. Does your strategy reflect your values?
  37. Do you have the right information to make strategic decisions? 
  38. What is your plan for planned issues?
  39. How will you deal with emerging issues?
  40. Strategy is about winning.
  41. Strategy is about choice.
  42. Strategy is about change.
  43. Strategy is about competition.
  44. Strategy is about value
  45. Strategy is about focus.
  46. Strategy is about marketing
  47. Strategy is about branding.
  48. Strategy is about reality.
  49. Strategy is about action. 
  50. Strategy is about being successful.

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