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Thought Leadership

Adam Bryant

Sharpen your strategy document

May 18, 2022

Clarifying what is and isn’t going to change helps ease the pressure of putting everything in one document.

Strategy documents have become the pack mules of the business world.

Like mules, which can carry cargo equaling about 20% of their body weight for more than a dozen miles, strategy statements are often tasked with taking on super-heavy loads. Too many of them now include the mission statement, the purpose statement, a list of enduring cultural values and commitments to various stakeholders, and even the core goals for the business.

The information buildup has grown in the last two years as companies are being called on to address many of society’s ills, as they chart a path into the post-pandemic future. This presents a challenge to the vital effort to reduce complexity so that all employees can stay focused on the answers to the company’s most foundational questions: Where are we going? How are we going to get there? How is my work directly contributing to those goals?

It’s time to declutter strategy documents. And my suggestion for doing that is to create two lists: what is going to change and what’s not going to change.

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The ExCo Group’s Adam Bryant wrote this article for his column in Strategy + Business.