Strategy Tools

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there

Mark van de Laak

This quote is my interpretation of Seneca’s “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” This was part of Seneca’s life philosophy some 2000 years ago, he had no idea about business in the 21st century, yet it’s more relevant than ever.

You don’t know if your business is doing well if you don’t know what good looks like.

Here’s an overview of strategy tools I’m used to deploying for winning strategies.

Hoshin Kanri or X-matrix

Also known as Strategy Deployment or Policy Deployment. It’s a process that leads to a deliverable known as the X-matrix. For me it’s more a process that helps distill what are the most important growth breakthroughs for the long and short term for the business. This is then (via the matrix) cascaded into a manageable overview of TTIs (targets to improve – as opposed to KPIs in daily management) or Growth Breakthrough Objectives. It also provides clarity on what success looks like and who is accountable with a black dot. This is where Lean Leaders spend most of their times. Planning ahead, reviewing every month and updating when needed.

Lean Product Innovation

There’s no point in building products no one needs. I’ve worked in companies that build products because they can build them. You’ll need a good chunk of luck to make the product successful as it happens to match the needs of your customers. Lean product innovation is a framework using basics from Agile/Scrum but also sound Voice-of-Customer (VOC) and Daily Management to ensure you build a product that customers love and that will drive value for the business.

Business Model Generation

Starting from scratch? Looking to expand into a new area? Trying to find new revenue streams? This is where the Business Model Generation from Strategyzer (A. Osterwalder) can be very helpful. I have used this multiple times. No need for weeks of business plans and large excel files. Just common sense, all plotted in one A3…based on facts, based on customer input. Easy does it. This also includes tools like Value Proposition Design, Segmentation and others.

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