Creating a Strategy Is About Making Choices

Can your strategy be translated into behaviors and decision making?

Summary
Transcript

Lisa McLeod, author of Leading with Noble Purpose, explains how to come up with a strategic vision for your organization, and explains that strategy is all about making choices.

“[Strategy is] a pretty overused word, but I think the reason it's overused in business is because people are so desperate for it,” says Lisa. “They want to know, ‘Where are we going?’ And so, one of the things that you have to understand about strategy is it’s about making choices. It's about what you're saying yes to and what you're saying no to.”

Watch the video to learn how to develop a clear strategy for your organization that supports your purpose.

One of the things that you hear people talk a lot about is strategic vision. Strategy is kind of a funny word. In fact, it's a pretty overused word, but I think the reason it's overused in business is because people are so desperate for it. They want to know, "Where are we going?" And so, one of the things that you have to understand about strategy is strategy is about making choices. It's about what you're saying yes to and what you're saying no to.

Now, your purpose is about the impact you want to have on customers. Your strategy is about where you're going to play. One of the mistakes I see organizations make in strategy… I have people send me their documents all the time when we start working together, and I'll get these decks. They're like, "Here's our strategy," and it's like 50 slides. And the question that I always ask is, "OK, I'm seeing this, I'm a middle manager, it's Monday morning, what do I actually do?" If it's not clear, your strategy is a fail.

What you need to do as a leader is, number one, make choices. You cannot be all things to all people. So your purpose is "This is the impact that you want to have on your customers, on your clients." Your strategy is, "Here are the ways that we are going to do it." Now, it's not getting down into the weeds, but it's saying, "We're going to go after this type of business. We're going to be in this lane."

And then what you need to do is your strategy should always be something that can be translated into behaviors and decision-making. And those are the two key things, behavior and decision making.

When you're casting a strategic vision for your organization and you're saying… In our company, we envision a world where people wake up excited to go to work. That's where we're going. And if we can make a dent in the universe on that, then we've done our job.

But we also need to take that for the people that work in our firm and we need to translate that to say, "That means we go after these kinds of projects. That means we do this kind of work." It has to be really, really clear, and it also means we don't do this kind of work.

So, for us, our purpose is we help leaders drive revenue and do work that makes them proud. And our vision is a world where people wake up excited to go to work, they make money, and they make a difference. And because of that, we've made some very intentional choices about what we do and don't do.
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Lisa McLeod

Lisa McLeod began her career at Procter & Gamble, where she was a sales leader, sales managers, and sales training. She went on to become the Vice-President of Vital Learning --an international training company - before founded he...

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