I posted COVID, STRATEGY, AND WHAT WE KNOW FOR SURE about a week ago. Here are some further comments and observations about the first “known.”

MindPrep Resource Center

Gee, about a year ago, things were simple. Put together a good strategy and ride it into the future. Sweet!


Strategy development follows a predictable cycle. Sense what’s happening in the larger world. Make Sense of the changes and their impacts. Decide on course of action (your strategy). And Act to execute the strategy “fast enough.” And get ready to do it again. These four actions are the basis of the Sense-Response Cycle that we explore at MindPrep Resource Center (www.mindprep.com)

Now, take a look at 2020.

  • Sense: Good grief, the entire business ecosystem is in flux. Boeing and airlines are facing dueling delivery schedules. Restaurants have to deal with social distancing and lockdowns. Universities are moving classes online and students want a tuition reimbursement. Public transportation is in a tailspin while motorcycle companies are facing increased demand. Retailers are abandoning malls. And that’s just what I read in today’s news!
  • Make Sense: Many of the assumptions that “must be true” for a business to succeed are shaky. Stakeholders are in conflict. All of today’s actions will have consequences and many of them are unknown because of the flux in the business environment. And many of the models we’ve used to explain business success are being strained and may no longer apply.
  • Decide: There are a dozen factors that define business strategy and many of them are changing. Tell me, which of the following are solid for your business? (These factors are more fully explained in our workbook How to Turn Strategic Concepts into Actionable Strategy.)
    • Business environment
    • Competitors
    • Customers
    • Offerings
    • Workforce and organization
    • Equipment
    • Facilities and location
    • Infrastructure technology
    • Policies and procedures
    • Infrastructure technology
    • Partners
    • Resources
  • Act: “Back in the day” we used to talk about sustainable competitive advantage. Nothing is sustainable in the era of Covid-19. Get ready to run this cycle again and again.

We just finished the pilot session of a new, hybrid training program, The Pragmatic Strategist. We need to make a few changes and will announce the fall/winter offerings for this program in the coming weeks.

I’ll comment on the rest of these “knowns” in the coming couple of weeks. What would you add to our list? Seriously, what would you add?

By the way, I love to write. But I wonder if anyone is reading and getting anything of value. I’d love to hear from you if you have any comments at all.

Stay safe. The pandemic is real.

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