This new blog series is about how to become a chief visionary, master strategist who disrupts the market and delivers extraordinary economic performance.
Strategy starts with an Impossible Future and ennobling purpose that makes a difference that matters for customers.
When I wrote my book, Masterful Coaching, I talked about having an Impossible Future for yourself and your company.
This spring, Shin Bae Kim, ex CEO of Korea Telecom, introduced me to a book by Harvard professor, Cynthia Montgomery, The Strategist, which helped me to connect the idea of an Impossible Future to an ennobling purpose.
The book helped me to clarify the idea that an impossible future isn’t just about becoming CEO or reaching another $billion in revenue, it’s about creating a company that truly matters to customers.
Strategy isn’t about beating the competition, but creating a company that matters.
One of my favorite examples of this is Henry Ford who had an Impossible Future – one that was not only visionary, but also deeply focused. Though most people are not aware of it, Ford’s impossible future was “to open the highways to all mankind.”
Back in Henry Ford’s time, most people lived in rural areas without a railroad trunk line, and it was almost impossible to conduct business or visit a relative who lived in a far town or even on a back road.
The goal of opening the highways was something that, if realized, had the power to transform people’s lives.
Strategy is not the goal, strategy is the how.
Yet, as Richard Rumelt has pointed out in his book, Good Strategy Bad Strategy, strategy is not the goal, strategy is the how.
To realize his goal, Ford had to come up with an answer to the question of how might it be possible to make cars affordable to all mankind.
His answer was to raise worker’s wages so they could afford to buy cars, and to make car manufacturing more efficient and cost effective with the assembly line.
The rest is history!