Peter Drucker once observed: “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all”.
Strategy is how you avoid this. A sound strategy tells you where you are going, and sets out a high-level, achievable plan to get there. And strategy combined with service design ensures the destination delivers maximum value to both users and the organisation. A clear strategy, underpinned by service design, is how you make sure anyone can decide what the most valuable things are to work on.
Yet bad strategy documents abound: massive tomes, years in the making (during which the organisation has continued to do what it perhaps should not have been doing at all), full of platitudes, unattainable visions, or uninspiring lists of mundane tactical objectives. Service blueprints gathering dust in drawers, or slowly fading on a forgotten wall. It makes it easy to pooh-pooh strategy, dismissing it with another Drucker aphorism, “culture eats strategy for breakfast” - or the mantras of “strategy is easy, tactics are hard” and “the strategy is delivery”.
In this extended workshop, strategy consultant Sophie Dennis uses real-world examples of successful discovery and strategy projects, to explore a simple framework for understanding what makes a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ strategy, and discuss how we can reclaim strategy, do it well, and get the support we need to translate it into action. Culture may still eat strategy for breakfast, and implementation may still be the really hard part, but with a good strategy behind you you’ll have a lot more chance of succeeding.