Your strategy, 9 books you should read distilled into 22 questions

Strategy is about getting from A to B. Strategy is about knowing the terrain. About knowing how the terrain changes or even shift over time.

Two steps, three questions

Rethinking strategy” claims that strategy involves two significant creative steps

  1. Reperceiving the future business environment
  2. Reconceiving the organisation’s role within these different futures.

And answering three questions

  1. What’s next?
  2. So what?
  3. Now what?

It is the foundation of corporate entrepreneurship and innovation. It is about trends, understanding your environment and your stakeholders, but it is much more about anticipating change. It is now commonly accepted that scenarios are the way to consider strategic responses to whatever is thrown at you.

It is a business muscle that needs flex constantly. In times of uncertainty and turbulence, organisations should develop an ‘arsenal’ of future memories. And given the fluidity of change, strategic outlooks need to be regularly refreshed to keep managerial perceptions sharp and organisational strategies in harmony with the environment.

Nature as a model

Emergent strategy” looks at nature as a model, Applying biomimicry to developing strategy. Complex systems, design, defence and attack mechanisms, fluidity, roots, regeneration and quantum physics. Potentiality.

The only question

Does your company matter, is the only question according to “The strategist“. If your company disappeared today, would the world be different tomorrow? Linked to values, purpose, passion and metrics.

Organisational design

Future proof your business” takes organisational design as the starting point. Your ability to adapt, your IT systems, your culture, your clock speed and your ability to tell the strategic story. Preferably subscribed to by everyone in the organisation, hence the link to leadership.

Future back

I think that strategy and leadership are about predicting the future. “Lead from the future” uses future back thinking as the way to develop a strategy. Don’t start from here or from now. Start from the future and work towards today. Consider the implications for the team, the budgets, the metrics, the technology and the products.

The competition

The strategy book” takes competition as the angle. It’s about vision first and planning second. It is about full engagement with everyone and particularly looking for disagreement, conflict and serendipity. That is where the magic lies.

The signals

Most organisations create strategies that deal with yesterday’s problems. That is from “Futurevision“. The importance of becoming a trend watcher. The importance of developing the scenarios and developing the scanning ability to watch for the (weak) signals that will tell you which scenario is unfolding.

The sales

The mistake that everyone is making in strategy is linking it to sales. “Aligning strategy and sales” does what it says on the tin. A strategy needs to be translated into sales action and the story for the customers. The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” That’s also the purpose of purpose and any business strategy. Understanding the customer and a customer value proposition is always at the core of any successful strategy. And ultimately, strategy is about accountability. The buck stops with you.

The story

Putting stories to work” is about storytelling. Strategic storytelling. We remember stories, and in particular, we remember stories that create emotion. A great story conveys feelings, engages us, and helps us picture what’s happening. The principal vehicle of leadership and strategy is the story. Culture is a set of stories. The leader’s job is to set the scene and paint the picture. Memorable, meaningful and with heartstrings. Aiming for clarity and recall in their oral communication at work. With authenticity.

The equation

Remember the equation: Trust = (credibility + reliability + intimacy) / self-interest

If you want to build trust as a leader, you have to act in a way that triggers stories of credibility, reliability and intimacy, but not self-interest. “Leadership by example” in short. Or “servant leadership”. Because the mirror neurones have a big BS detector. You cannot fake it. Imagine the leader as the emotional metronome (put a lot of metronomes in a room at different speeds, and eventually, they will sync). What the leader feels, the organisation feels.

The strategic box and the number

After reading many, many books about strategy, for me, strategy is about understanding the environment now and in the future, understanding exponential, the definition of the lens you look at that environment (the strategic box), targets, focus and a series 100 days plans with one metric.

The questions to consider

  1. What’s next in your sector?
  2. So what?
  3. Now what?
  4. If Behaviosec was an animal, what animal would it be, why and how would it respond to opportunities and threats?
  5. What is the potential of your company?
  6. Why does your company matter?
  7. If your company disappeared today, would the world be different tomorrow?
  8. What is the purpose of your company?
  9. How adaptable is your company?
  10. What is the current story of your company?
  11. What is the future story of your company?
  12. How does your company compare to the competitors?
  13. What are the trends?
  14. What are the scenarios?
  15. What are the weak signals?
  16. Who is the customer?
  17. What is the value proposition?
  18. What are the sales actions?
  19. What story will we tell the stakeholders?
  20. What is your role as a leader in that story?
  21. What is the long term target?
  22. What is the metric for the next 100 days?
sensemaking cover


Sense making; morality, humanity, leadership and slow flow. A book about the 14 books about the impact and implications of technology on business and humanity.

Ron Immink

I help companies by developing an inspiring and clear future perspective, which creates better business models, higher productivity, more profit and a higher valuation. Best-selling author, speaker, writer.

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