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What leads us to success can just as easily lead us to failure.

In the world of business, the road to success is rarely straightforward. It’s filled with contradictions. This paradox highlights a critical insight: simply copying the playbook of the successful doesn’t guarantee victory.

Watch the 2min video clip below, from our ‘Meet The Author’ session with Jerôme Barthélémy, ‘Myths of Strategy’, for further insight.

Instead, success in today’s rapidly changing business environment demands strategies that are not only carefully planned but also flexible and innovative, capable of adapting to new challenges and seizing emerging opportunities.



Three Key Insights for Developing a Winning Strategy


Embrace Flexibility and Responsiveness

Success today requires strategies that are both deliberate and emergent. Businesses must have an overarching direction while remaining open to adapting their strategies in response to external changes. This balance empowers them to seize new opportunities and navigate unforeseen challenges effectively.


Innovation Over Imitation

Relying on beating the competition by being the cheapest or the best is a risky move in a fluctuating market. Instead, focus on innovation and creating value in unique ways, as demonstrated by companies like Apple and Amazon. Their success was not just about being first but about offering platforms that provided value to both creators and consumers.


Fear is a Killer of Great Strategies

Fear can be a significant barrier to crafting and implementing effective strategies. The fear of failure, of making the wrong decision, or of deviating from industry norms can stifle innovation and bold decision-making. Overcoming this fear involves embracing risk as a natural element of strategic planning and recognising that failure is often a valuable learning opportunity.



Three Practical Steps to Implement Your Strategy


Adopt Agile Methodologies

Incorporate agile practices in strategy execution to remain flexible and responsive. By breaking down larger strategies into smaller, actionable tasks, you can quickly adjust based on real-world feedback and outcomes. This approach ensures your strategy evolves with your business needs and market demands.


Make A Decision

Strategy is about making choices. You will never be fully sure they are the right choices. If you are, it is likely you are imitating others or making an operational choice. Strategy is an educated guess, you can use tools and data but ultimately it’s a bet. The key is to make a decision, any decision is better than no decision. Define a sense of direction, and then look to test at lower levels, as often it’s the little changes that make the biggest difference.


Foster a Culture of Psychological Safety

Foster an environment where every team member feels comfortable sharing ideas and taking calculated risks. Establishing such a culture promotes innovation and supports bold, strategic decisions. It’s about making it okay to question, experiment, and sometimes fail because that’s where real learning and innovation happen.




Words of advice from those who have lived it

“Good strategy and good organisation lie in specialising in the right activities and imposing only the essential amount of coordination” – Richard Rumelt, author of ‘Good Strategy, Bad Strategy’

“Each pivot in our strategy has been a learning moment, revealing not just a new direction but a deeper understanding of our market and ourselves. Flexibility isn’t just about surviving; it’s about learning and thriving through change.” – Jordan Lee, Director



Crafting a winning strategy in today’s fast-paced and uncertain business world is about more than just plotting a course; it’s about creating a dynamic blueprint that evolves. As businesses navigate through the complexities of competitive landscapes and technological advancements, the ability to adapt and grow becomes crucial.

A truly effective strategy, therefore, is one that is alive, breathing with the pulse of the market, and flexible enough to shift direction when the winds of change blow. With this approach, businesses are not just surviving; they’re poised for future success, ready to turn the paradoxes of strategy into their greatest strengths.

This blog was inspired by the book ‘Myths of a Strategy’ written by Jerôme Barthélémy.

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