The word strategy is bantered about in meetings, classrooms, cocktail parties, and everywhere else.
Perhaps you’ve heard people saying things like:
- “I’m a strategic thinker.”
- “We are shifting strategies right now.”
- “Our strategy this year (or month) is…”
In many instances, the individual, team or organization isn’t truly pursuing a strategy or thinking strategically, they are exhibiting more of a herd mentality.
Please hear me on this. Sometimes the herd mentality is effective and appropriate. Many organizations (dare I say most organizations) follow this mindset to varying degrees of success.
But, strategy is different. Done well, strategy is bold, arguably brazen. It’s bucking convention or reshaping how we collectively see things. It is about doing something sizably different, making tradeoffs, or charting a new course. These behaviors are the essence of strategy.
Invest Two Minutes
I invite you to invest two minutes to watch this video. In it, I discuss the difference between true strategic thinking and merely operating with a herd mentality.
As you watch the video, challenge yourself to answer these three questions:
1. How comfortable are you at explaining what strategy is and isn’t?
2. Are you working to execute a strategy or focusing solely on operational excellence? What would you show me to prove your answer?
3. What should you and your organization do today to avoid being overcome by the herd?
Consider your answers.
If you are content with the direction things are going. Excellent. Keep moving forward.
If a discussion or change in direction is needed, share the video with your team and use it as a starting point.
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.