How do you determine strategy?  How do you develop strategy?  Probably we’re talking arrive at a vision and the values that will enable you to get there.  Then determine the strategic elements that will move you in the direction of the vision.  In order to stay on course strategically you’ll need goals and performance measures.  But the question is, how do you determine which strategy is the right one?

Can your assumptions help you determine the right strategy?  For example, eBay is well known for its assumption that people are basically good and trustworthy.  That assumption has informed their decision to design their site architecture to allow sellers to sell directly to buyers.  No middleman.  The Starfish and the Spider provides a insightful glimpse into eBay’s strategic decision-making.  "Even today, when eBay employees consider a strategic decision, they are required to begin with the assumption that people are basically good and trustworthy (p. 163)."

What assumptions form the basis for the development of your strategy?  Want a "for instance"?  One of my assumptions is that new customers are your most rabid evangelists.  Buy that one?  It may not be true for you.  But in my world, the longer someone is on the inside the fewer people they have deep connections with on the outside.  I know.  It’s a little vague.  Check out the diagram.


What I’m saying is that the people who are the most connected are in the square.  One of my assumptions is that their friends, their closest connections, are inside the square too.  Guess where the closest friends of the people in the circle are?  One of my assumptions is that their closest friends aren’t yet inside the circle.  What does that mean?  It means that when I develop strategy it is intended to help those customers on the fringe invite their closest friends to the party.  You know why the strategy works?  Because the assumption is correct.

What assumptions are you using to develop strategy?

Strategy Begins with Assumptions
  • Having flashbacks from ministry days/daze reading this post!
    Very good and true.
    Lots to think about here. Like your diagram.
    Thanks for stirring my Monday morning brain!

  • The question is, does the idea apply to all organizations? There is a lot out there about taking great care of your current customers…because they’re the best evangelists. My assumption about who makes the best evangelists for your organization must need an asterisk!