Tough Questions to Ask About Your Company's Strategy

In their Harvard Business Review article, "8 Tough Questions to Ask About Your Company's Strategy," Paul Leinwand and Matthias Baumler say that most companies do not have the answers.

Tough Questions to Ask About Your Company's Strategy

CAN WE STATE IT?

WAY TO PLAY Are we clear about how we choose to create value in the marketplace?

DO WE LIVE IT?   

WAY TO PLAY Are we investing in the capabilities that really matter to our way to play?

CAN WE STATE IT?

CAPABILITIES SYSTEM Can we articulate the three to six capabilities that describe what we do uniquely better than anyone else? Have we defined how they work together in a system? Do our strategy documents reflect this?

DO WE LIVE IT?   

CAPABILITIES SYSTEM Do all our businesses draw on this superior capabilities system? Do our organizational structure and operating model support and leverage it? Does our performance management system reinforce it?

CAN WE STATE IT?

PRODUCT AND SERVICE FIT Have we specified our product and service "sweet spot"? Do we understand how to leverage the capabilities system in new or unexpected arenas?

DO WE LIVE IT?   

PRODUCT AND SERVICE FIT Do most of the products and services we sell fit with our capabilities system? Are new products and acquisitions evaluated on the basis of their fit with the way to play and the capabilities system?

CAN WE STATE IT?

COHERENCE Can everyone in the organization articulate our differentiating capabilities? Is our company's leadership reinforcing these capabilities?

DO WE LIVE IT?   

COHERENCE Do we have a right to win in our chosen market? Do all of our decisions add to our coherence, or do some of them push us toward incoherence?

SOURCE ADAPTED FROM "THE COHERENCE PREMIUM," BY PAUL LEINWAND AND CESARE MAI NARDI. HARVARD BUSiNESS REVIEW, JUNE 2010

Discussion: Why to you think that too few companies are asking or answering these fundamental questions?