I am still on holiday for a few more days
I was asked awhile ago to re-post this little frame which has become very popular as a way to illustrate the strategic choices we always have. Clients use the terminology to self-asses the ‘level’ of a strategy. The re-framing of the language is always a useful trick.
These are the 10 strategic options you have at your disposal all the time, as I use them with my clients
- Change the oil (continuous improvement)
- Lets use less oil (management of the ‘denominator’, efficiency)
- But, what kind of oil? (‘in-the-box’ thinking)
- It’s the wrong car! (‘in-the-box’ redirection)
- We don’t need a car /’it’s transport stupid’ (disruptive)
- Too many cars, no drivers! (dysfunctional to functional, reconfiguration)
- Ferrari? Ford? Bicycle? Walk? (disruptive, ‘out-of-the-box’)
- Cars-R-us; Transport-R-us; Something-R-us (excellence)
- Let’s transform the way cars are made (reboot)
- Let’s make a dent in the universe (Steve Jobs, place in the world)
The question is not whether one is better than the other. It’s a choice. If you just want to change the oil in the car, fine, but, don’t expect innovation. The serious problem here, is how we fool ourselves. Sometimes we come to believe that we are in sophisticated strategic mode, when all we do really, is reshuffle the configuration of the company. Ah! But don’t forget the experts used in sourcing the oil, tendering for the most effective oil, and the competitor analyses of the different kinds of oils used by competitors.
When I use this model with my clients, it becomes very apparent what the client is trying to do. It deals straight away with a common trap where people find themselves very often: ‘I think we all agree, we are just saying the same thing’. No we are not! Don’t ever believe that people ‘are saying the same thing’. Certainly not in strategic terms.