Tough Questions to Ask About Your Company’s Strategy

Way to Play

  • Are we clear about how we choose to create value in the marketplace?
  • Are we investing in the capabilities that really matter to our way to play?

Capabilities System

  • Can we articulate the three to six capabilities that describe what we do uniquely better than anyone else?
  • Have we defined how they work together in a system?
  • Do our strategy documents reflect this?
  • Do all our businesses draw on this superior capabilities system?
  • Do our organizational structure and operating model support and leverage it?
  • Does our performance management system reinforce it?

Product and Service Fit

  • Have we specified our product and service “sweet spot”?
  • Do we understand how to leverage the capabilities system in new or unexpected arenas?
  • Do most of the products and services we sell fit with our capabilities system?
  • Are new products and acquisitions evaluated on the basis of their fit with the way to play and the capabilities system?

Can We State It?

  • Can everyone in the organization articulate our differentiating capabilities?
  • Is our company’s leadership reinforcing these capabilities?
  • Do we have a right to win in our chosen market?
  • Do all of our decisions add to our coherence, or do some of them push us toward incoherence?

Source: adapted from “The Coherence Premium,” by Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi, Harvard Business Review, June 2010

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