Chris Bradley

The harsh reality of the way we do strategic planning now is, there is a pot of money and we all compete for it. But when we did our research on companies that rose up the power curve, we found that it usually was not the whole company improving but one or two out of ten business units that disproportionately went up. It’s just a small part of the company that explosively grows.

That’s easy to logically understand, but when you’re in the strategy room and trying to be one of those winners, you may create a lot of losers. And you can see how, with the social side of strategy, that really becomes a problem. If you ask ten business-unit leaders in the room, “Which of you runs the bottom five units?” you will get a uniform answer: none of them is in the bottom five. But if you ask them which is the one business the company should disproportionately back, they usually know which it is.

So, what we want to do is go from spreading resources evenly like peanut butter, which is the enemy, to picking one-in-tens with breakout potential. That means we must deal with some tough stuff.

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