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Strategy Builder: How to create and communicate more effective strategies by Stephen Cummings, Duncan Angwin

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OPPORTUNITIES FOR A NEW WAY OF DEVELOPING STRATEGY

People like strategy. But they don't like conventional modes of communicating it. As a consequence, the people who have to implement strategy feel disengaged from it – this is a big reason why organizations underperform. If we identify this as the problem, we can also see a number of opportunities to fix it. We list these opportunities on the ‘high engagement' device below and explain them in the paragraphs that follow.

5. The need for a third way between the oversimplicity of PowerPoints and the overcomplication of the typical strategic plan

Let's start with that last opportunity listed on the whiteboard first and work backwards. While the term ‘death by PowerPoint' may be an exaggeration (nobody has actually been killed, to our knowledge), millions of people are numbed by PowerPoint presentations every day.6 That 95% of employees may be unaware of or do not understand their company's strategy is largely, we believe, due to the way that strategies are communicated. Most strategy is disseminated in large wordy documents (referred to by some humorists as SPOTS – ‘strategic plan on top shelf'), and, given that hardly anybody actually reads these documents, in PowerPoint presentations containing bulleted text summaries.

This convention is not surprising given that the 20th-century technology used to generate these documents ...

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