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Fundamentals of Strategy


To give your managers an introduction to Strategy and strategic thinking and to apply it directly to their own work

Target Population

All managers who are required to understand and represent the Strategy of your business, whether or not they are the makers of Strategy – also staff involved in the planning process


After this programme, managers will be able to:

  • Understand the key ideas of Strategy and confer in a common strategic vocabulary
  • Assess opportunities as the raw material of Strategy, according to a logical process and template
  • Evaluate information in order to reach sound strategic decisions
  • Work with practical issues of value creation and capture, innovation and marketing
  • Place Strategy in context of culture and leadership style, particularly in their own organisation

Detailed Content

Day 1 - Strategic Skills

Defining Strategy – how we think and talk about Strategy

  • Idea of Strategy: part of Economics, reflects finite resources - managing opportunities, making choices
  • Future outcomes, but we have to think and act now: Plan and Process, the means to a goal
  • Discipline – makes us focus on (and align) priorities and resources, to create and capture value
  • What can happen without Strategy: “Strategic Illusions” – inefficiency, chaos and value destruction
  • Strategy answers a Key Question – “Why are we doing this?” – even if only a few people make Strategy
  • Implicit and Explicit Thinking: If we can explain it, we can manage it “Doing” Strategy – even if we don’t make it ourselves
  • Opportunities revisited: Strategic behaviours can apply to everyone’s work and make us more alive to real opportunities
  • Analysing Opportunities:
    • Choices
    • Risk
    • Expectations
    • Data
    • Imagination
    • Time
  • Wrap-up. Information Quality and Quantity: Too much/too little information at work? How to reduce/increase as appropriate

Day 2 - Applying Strategy

Goals of Strategy – managing our business for Value

  • Introduction. Business Models: further questions in framing Strategic thinking - Who? What? How?
  • Innovation and Value Creation: economic analysis applied – creating value with most efficient use of resources, game-changing strategy, based on business models
  • Competition and Value Capture: 5 Forces in analysing an industry, value chain and own position, reversed for insights into possible collaboration/partnering opportunities
  • Marketing as Strategic activity: more than tactical, applying strategic thinking to optimising customer relationships, avoiding the average

Strategy in Context – realities of Strategy in Organisations

  • Culture – a “wraparound”, reflecting and promoting Strategy: definition and practical examples, more than simply “the way we do things here”
  • Influencing our colleagues/getting things done – Strategic Leadership: leadership as a non-hierarchical role, and personal style
  • Wrap-up. From Vision to Value: accurately reflecting Strategy in a clear “story”, contributing to a Mission Statement