Overall Approach

Strategy is effectively generated and executed through an iterative nine-step process:

Strategy Generation

  • Step 1: Activating key stakeholders. Making key persons in the organization receptive to new strategy and mobilizing the resources needed for strategy generation.
  • Step 2: Mapping strategy. Identifying the organization’s strategy by describing it on the basis of its ten core elements.
  • Step 3: Assessing strategy. Judging and testing the quality of the organization’s strategy against relevant criteria.
  • Step 4: Innovating strategy. Renewing and redesigning the organization’s strategy through incremental or radical innovation.
  • Step 5: Formulating strategy. Capturing the organization’s strategy in words and pictures that can be understood by the target audience.

Strategy Execution

  • Step 6: Bridging gaps. Identifying the gaps between your current and your aspired strategy, and defining projects and tasks to bridge them.
  • Step 7: Organizing strategy. Identifying the most important organizational deficiencies, and defining projects and tasks to solve them.
  • Step 8: Planning strategy. Developing and committing to a dynamic, prioritized course of action and a way of working for closing the gap between the actual and the aspired strategy.
  • Step 9: Realizing strategy. Effecting the aspired strategy by putting the execution plan into action and managing relevance, progress, and emotions over time.

Defining Strategy


Stripped down to its very essence, a strategy is an organization’s unique way of sustainable value creation. To see how an organization can realize this, The Strategy Handbook uses the Strategy Sketch to break strategy down into its core elements. This provides a concrete view on what strategy is and what every organization needs to pay attention to:

  • Resources & competences. What you have, what you are good at, and what makes you unique.
  • Partners. Whom you work with and who makes your products or services more valuable.
  • Customers & needs. The organizations and people you serve and which needs of them you fulfill.
  • Competitors. Others that your customers will compare you to in deciding whether or not to buy your products or services.
  • Value proposition. What products and services you offer, how you offer them, and what added value they have for the customer.
  • Revenue model. What you receive in return for your offer, from whom, how, and when.
  • Risks & costs. What financial, social, and other risks and costs your bear and how you manage these.
  • Values & goals. What you want, where you want to go and what you find important.
  • Organizational climate. What your culture and structure look like and what is special about them.
  • Trends & uncertainties. What happens around you that affects your organization and what uncertainties you face.

Changing the Organization


Effectively executing strategy mostly requires substantial changes to the organization. To understand what this exactly means, The Strategy Handbook also breaks the notion of organization down into its core elements in the Organizational Map:

  • Leadership. Key people who influence, promote and empower others in the organization to achieve a collaborative outcome.
  • Controls. The target-setting, monitoring, evaluation, and corrective systems that align the organization’s activities with its strategy.
  • Motivation. The ways and means used to inspire, incentivize, and get people to perform effectively.
  • Commitment. The sense of community within an organization along with the willingness to do what it takes to ensure collective success.
  • Expertise. The knowledge, skills, and experience of employees and the mechanisms to manage these.
  • Information technology. The tools and applications that are used to enable and enhance the functioning of the organization through data.
  • Structure. The allocation and coordination of responsibility, accountability, power and reporting relationships in the organization.
  • Communication. The ways and channels by which information is shared both informally and formally throughout the organization.
  • Processes. The formal and informal procedures, habits, and routines that define the way things are done in the organization.
  • Policies. The rules, guidelines, agreements, and contracts that define what is expected of everyone in relation to the organization.