The Greatest Strategy Model Ever
Three circles and a heart – for us, this is the greatest strategy model of all time. You can find out for yourself whether it’s the same for you and your company.
We use the following strategy model for the management of companies, departments, or teams. We even use it in our own lives. It can be applied to any project. The model provides a framework, helping us make decisions. In fact, every process I want to drive benefits from a clearly formulated Purpose, Vision, Values, and Strategies. In German: Zweck, Vision, Werte und Strategien. We’ll describe each element in more detail and show you how to set and use them as a leader.
Purpose – Why do we do what we do?
“Start with Why.” This wonderful phrase is attributed to author and business consultant Simon Sinek. In everything I want to accomplish, I start with the why. Why do I actually want to sell something? Why am I marketing for it? If I don’t know this, I quickly lose motivation. My actions become ends in and of themselves.
In a business context, I ask myself and my team, “The purpose of my business is …?” Then I complete that sentence with 7 +/-2 words. It takes some time to do this. A good setting to come up with this sentence is a team workshop where small groups formulate different sentences. These sentences then compete against each other in a tournament. Then, at the end, there’s the one, correct Purpose that everyone can agree on internally. To adjust the altitude of my company’s purpose, I again ask the question, “And what am I doing this for?” This increases my flight altitude. I ask, “How exactly am I doing this?” In doing so, I continue my descent toward the ground.
P.S.: It’s quite logical that I want to make money with my venture. This purpose is always given in the business context. It’s necessary simply because, without income, I can’t pay my employees. Without them, I can’t achieve my goals. The point here is to get specific with our purpose. Why do we do what we do other than making revenue?
Vision – Where will we be in 5 years when everything has gone mega?
Dream big! I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase many times. The nice thing is: it’s actually allowed. Yes, I’m allowed to dream big. I don’t worry about the realization at first, but just imagine the most beautiful possible future. It’s a matter of seeing this dream as clearly as possible, feeling it with all of my senses. This helps me to naturally move in the right direction, because I want to find this feeling again in real life.
In the next step, I set the vision according to the S.M.A.R.T. principle. No matter how big it seems to me, it must always be specific, measurable, and timed. This is the only way we can determine in later meetings whether the goals have been achieved or not.
Note: There are two letters where we switch out the word: A and R. For us at CoA, the A stands for “achievable,” or achievable within the framework of the other requirements. We also don’t say that the R stands for “realistic.” Everything becomes realistic if we believe in it and have the right people on board. For us, the R stands for “relevant” — does it pay into my Purpose, my Why? Or does it run parallel to it?
Values – How do we behave on the way to fulfilling the Purpose?
The end justifies the means, so does that mean I can do anything? These could be your values as a manager. But sooner or later, they’ll collide with your team members or customers. So in my strategy development, it’s also important to live with shared values.
It’s usually the case that founders define the values through their own, then look for candidates who hold the same values. So values are something that are automatically present in the organization through the people. It’s not something that’s strategically set and imposed on everyone.
For me as a manager, this means that I don’t invent corporate values. Instead, I establish the existing ones. Then we decide on about three core values and ensure that they’re lived and implemented by everyone. Anyone who doesn’t share the values doesn’t fit into the team. If I only discover later that a person’s values don’t fit into the company, this is a reason to let them go as quickly as possible. This is how I keep the values in the rest of the team.
Strategies – What will we do in the next 6 to 12 months?
The last step is the actual corporate strategy, which results almost automatically from the process we’ve just gone through: Once my Purpose, Vision, and Values are established, I must decide on next steps to fulfill them. These actions complete my grand strategy model. These tangible actions may also be S.M.A.R.T.. The important thing is to keep asking: Do the strategies play into our grand Purpose? If the answer is “yes,” I may communicate it to the whole team.
The next step is implementation.
The greatest strategy model in private life
These same rules and processes can be applied to my own journey. I as a person have values anchored in me as well. And I need a Purpose to have direction and feel fulfilled. As a team manager, I can motivate my employees to also engage with the strategy model on a very personal level. Because happy people with a vision in mind are more productive.
Photo by Kevin Delvecchio on Unsplash
More about the strategy model
Want to go through the model and find all the answers step-by-step? Sign up for the Chief of the Year program. Or in the It’s My Life seminar. The latter is all about developing a strategy for your own life. In the seminars, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other Chiefs and people who want to achieve more in life.
You can also listen to more about the individual components of the model in our podcast. Or read about it in our book Chief of Anything.