Strategy Lab

Think about the new big, cool companies with great performance… Google, Amazon, Zara, Tesla. What is it that sets them apart from the gazillions of dull boring companies on the Fortune 500 with routine performance?

What is it that sets these fascinating and intriguing companies apart? For starters, their leaders being a chief visionary and master strategist, and secondly, a game-changing strategy based on imagination and innovation.

As an executive coach, I have looked at hundreds of strategy presentations of global 1000 type companies, usually in the form of deadly dull PowerPoint presentations with lots of implementation plans, rafts of numbers, all well and good. Do you know the one thing that is usually missing from these strategy presentations? The one thing missing, however good the planning and analysis part, is imagination and innovation.

Think about it, the only way you are going to achieve explosive growth, the only way you are going to vanquish the competition, the only way you are going to blow past sticking points that are keeping your company’s growth trajectory stalled or atrophied is an imaginative, game-changing strategy, which goes way beyond a boring strategic plan.

Yet in 99% of the cases I have been involved with, the typical strategic planning process never produces any of that. The strategic planning process in most companies is totally a right-brain
exercise that never produces imaginative strategies, but instead produces simple and obvious plans dressed up with a laundry list of initiatives and endless columns of numbers.

The Strategy LabThe Masterful Coaching Strategy Lab—which is based on hybrid thinking, combining the creative cool of a Silicon Valley start-up incubator, with the careful planning and analysis of a McKinsey—totally resets the environment of the typical strategic planning process.

It’s not a strategy from the same five people, each with their own political agenda, sitting around a bored room table, experiencing death by PowerPoint, with their minds closed to disruptive ideas.

The Strategy Lab gives your extended team a voice and takes place in an Open Space environment designed to produce powerful new growth strategies that result in creating new businesses or reinventing existing ones. It’s an environment where people gather customer stories, brainstorm game-changing products and services, and rigorously apply a business model to it.

It’s an environment of what Michael Schrage calls “Serious Play” with the focus on creating business model prototypes, getting it into the customer’s hands for feedback, and rapid iteration. It can also be used to bring all the key stakeholders together in designing a concrete plan to bring it to market.

I would love to partner both with CEOs of larger companies and consultants who would like to get involved in whatever way makes sense. Let me know if you would like to chat about it.

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