May 10, 2016

Here Comes Strategy 3.0

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Spring has sprung.

For me that means yard work, kayak floats, more fishing, outside bike rides, and some spring football games. Now, if you know me, you know I’m a football fan, who happens to live in a college town, where I own part of a sports media company. And like every college football program on the planet, Arkansas has a traditional Spring Game. But this year my biggest incentive to participate in the spring game wasn’t business driven or hobby based. It was my son’s fraternity hosting Dad’s Weekend during the spring game. And the fact that my son is a senior only added to the priority and fun.

The weekend was a blast and the game was what you would expect. It succeeded at getting everyone excited, opinionated and hungry about the upcoming season.

Now, just for a moment, picture the coach of your favorite team coming out of its Spring Game. It’s time for his postgame press conference. He sits down behind the microphone and begins…

“Got some big news for everybody about this year’s program. I’ve decided that we will not pass the ball at all this coming year. Not once. Only going to run it. Also, I’ve encouraged the players to forget about that ‘neutral zone’ nonsense. Stand wherever you would like, whenever you would like. Finally, I’ve always thought that 10 yards was a little excessive for a first down, so we are just going to aim for 5 yards this season. Any questions?”

Flashbulbs pop. Media members begin to write furiously, text madly, and tweet indiscriminately. Meanwhile, you struggle back to consciousness long enough to exclaim,  “We’re going to get killed! He can’t win that way. Why would he go back to such old-fashioned tactics that don’t make any sense anymore? He isn’t playing by the right set of rules. This isn’t 1904! He isn’t even acknowledging the ways in which the game and players have changed.”

The Rules Have Changed
In order to have success in any setting, not just football, you have to know the rules and parameters of your context and you have to plan accordingly. As that context evolves, you have to take note and change as well. If you refuse to adjust to new realities, you’ll get left behind like a football coach who refuses to throw the ball.

Just as the strategy of football changed dramatically near the turn of the twentieth century with the advent of the forward pass and the neutral zone, the world of business strategy has experienced a seismic shift in recent years. The long-standing strategic model, which I call Strategy 2.0, has begun to falter in its effectiveness. Unable to address the current pace and realities of today’s marketplace, Strategy 2.0 has been stressed to its limits. Fortunately, in its place a new iteration, Strategy 3.0, has taken shape.

Unlike the methodical, slow-paced Strategy 2.0, the 3.0 framework is fast and agile. It calls for nimbleness, a tolerance for uncertainty, and the willingness to keep on trying until we get it right.

The New Rules of Strategy 3.0
In my book, Strategy 3.0, I take a detailed look at this new strategic framework and provide the rules and parameters necessary for success. In particular, I detail eight fundamental differences between Strategy 2.0 and 3.0, and I provide you with a new “Strategy Lexicon” to help you along your way. I also provide a blueprint to help leaders lead their organizations toward successful strategy development and implementation of those strategies.

Strategy 2.0 to 3.0
Here is a quick preview of the eight major contrasts between the two strategy paradigms.


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