Leading Strategic Conversations

The relationship between strategy, leadership and organizational performance continues to be an area of major interest for practitioners, academics and the business media. Here are two reasons why it requires a closer look.

First, thinking and practice at the intersection of strategy and leadership have changed significantly over the last 20 years. For example, the traditional perspective positioned the CEO as an elite level planner who worked with a centralized planning department and external consultants to develop an organization’s strategic direction. In more recent times, we’ve seen the rise and fall of charismatic “celebrity CEOs” whose role was to develop a grand vision for their new organization and then pass it down to their loyal ‘helpers’ for execution.

Second, recent advances in thinking about the business model concept enable leaders to gain a better grasp on the link between strategy and value creation. articulating a business model requires that  you get beyond what are often vague notions of competitive advantage and clearly define the dimensions of value you are trying to create for customers, stakeholders and the organization itself.  Business model thinking provides a logic for strategy integration and execution, one that is linked to these dimensions of value. It also provides a new framework for understanding corporate versus business level strategy and for business model innovation.

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