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Re-imagining strategy

Reflections from a CEO & Chair

During this unprecedented time in our history what do we do about strategy? When the next horizon is so uncertain and we’re not sure what’s around the next corner, how do we know which is the right direction for our business to go in? What do we focus on?

As Alice said in Alice Through the Looking-Glass:

‘If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up someplace-else.’ 

Earlier in the year, when COVID-19 was in its very early stages, I was involved in two strategic planning activities for two different organisations. Both were quite different processes with different external facilitators working with me in my CEO role in my current organisation and the other as the Chair of the Board for another organisation. We spent time doing the usual environmental scanning exercises and scenario planning, but at that stage the world as we know it today was quite different. It has changed considerably in only a few months.

What we do know is that the ‘next normal’ won’t look like it used to look. It will be about doing things differently, about shaping our next future reality in the context of what’s happening now. Not protecting what worked in the past, but preserving what is working well now in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty around us. Now is the time to see the opportunity to re-shape and re-imagine a new future, to embed the new ways of doing things into our culture that we have learned as a result of the crisis. 

So… what do we do?

As Sally Hogshead said: 

‘Don’t CHANGE who you are. Become MORE of who you are.’

Having a clear map for the future in whatever form it takes is crucial. However, it is important to remember that it should always be your organisation’s purpose, why you exist, that is at the core of your vision for the future. If you are clear about what this is, then it will be much easier to re-design a new future that will ensure your organisation’s sustainability well beyond COVID-19.

What are you doing to re-imagine your organisation’s strategy?