Your Strategy Needs a Strategy

A lesson in how to develop a business strategy.

From Peter Drucker and Michael Porter to Clayton Christensen and Eric Ries, a lot of sophisticated material has been written regarding corporate strategy. From the standpoint of management science, these contributions mean that today’s executives have an unprecedented amount of theories and empirical data to inform their decision-making. However, at a time that business has become exceedingly fast-paced, increasingly global, and undeniably more competitive, it also means that C-suite professionals are under more and more pressure to formulate strategy correctly—which, realistically, many struggle to do.


To help overcome this difficulty authors Martin Reeves, Knut Haanaes, and Janmejaya Sinha have put together a useful guide for those interested to learn more about corporate strategy through their book, Your Strategy Needs a Strategy.


In a way, it may be said that Your Strategy Needs a Strategy reads like an ur–strategy book. From cover to cover, its authors manage to condense, contrast, and summarize distinct approaches to strategy in a coherent fashion—aided in no small part by real world examples. In essence, the book is, for all intents and purposes, a literature review on the subject of corporate strategy, but with the authors streamlining the discussion by abstracting various strategic concepts and grouping them into five broad approaches.


  • - Classical: “Be big.”


  • - Adaptive: “Be fast.”


  • - Visionary: “Be first.”


  • - Shaping: “Be the orchestrator.”


  • - Renewal: “Be viable.”




Altogether, these approaches comprise a “strategy palette” from which executives devise the imperatives their organizations pursue. On paper, these are clearly defined and potentially mutually exclusive. In practice, however, organizations must continually adjust to market realities and, therefore, it is not at all unusual for some organizations to start out using one strategy from the palette only to switch to a different one later on, or even pursue multiple approaches at the same time.


Reeves, Haanaes, and Sunha are cognizant of this, suggesting that as organizations become more complex they must learn to become more fleet-footed, perhaps with certain units pursuing the original approach from the palette while others adopt different ones. Hence, executives themselves must be the first ones to develop “ambidexterity” and a familiarity for which approaches in the strategy palette are appropriate under which circumstances, a point the authors belabor in each chapter. “The leader must manage a state of artful disequilibrium,” they write, “often against an organization’s natural tendency to lock in a familiar, comfortable, or successful recipe.”


Any professional manage worth their salt will agree with that sentiment, and would do well to take the lessons of Your Strategy Needs a Strategy to heart.



Get the book here!



Posted 7th June 2015 by  on


Edited by Bryan Troutt