Strategy process is 6 times more important than analysis.
Strategy is the art and science of deselecting alternative pathways towards a temporary competitive advantage and differentiated positioning. Analysis is important, but process beats it hands down every time. Sounds like something a bunch of soft process consultants would say right? Well this comes straight from the heart of the most analytical driven company you can find – McKinsey. The reason is that good analysis does not guarantee a good decision or implementation – good process though will ensure good analysis.
The typical internal strategy process is a bit of a mess, where lots of data is gathered and hopefully something magical emerges. The scientific approach is super sharp but it requires a client that knows how to organize the process around the analysis. We have therefore developed the behavioural approach to avoid biases for a solid decision and ensure speed from day one to implementation.
Four critical steps make use of deep or fast methods
There are four critical steps in the behavioural approach. While each step must be performed chronologically, there are different methods that can be applied. The picture below shows three examples from deep to fast methods.
- Broaden the perspective of the management group to see more opportunities – and in the same way. When we use megatrend analysis to do this, we typically have so much more insight than a whole host of experts.
- Facilitate a debiased decision. That sounds easier than it is – while we love using the order of for example the Playing-To-Win framework, then it is really about engaging the entire group in the right way and the right time.
- After two days of decision making, typically a number of critical areas appear, where it would not be prudent to make a decision at this point and thus deep dives are conducted, which can take many shapes – the key is to test the most critical assumptions.
- Prepare to be wrong. Yes, that does not sound like fun or something a strategy consultancy would suggest, but here it is. Because as good as the strategy is based on the available data, then things change. And you dont want to be driving 200 km/h down the wrong high way.