The Core Driver of Effective Strategy

Strategy is more about what you believe than what you do.

If you believe there is enough to go around, rather than believing that resources are scarce, you can develop strategies that are grounded in possibility and generosity rather than constantly striving to play a stressful zero-sum game. Can you see how it’s a question of perception?

It’s why the process of co-creating a Theory of Change can be a breakthrough. A Theory of Change makes your hypotheses about how change happens visible to others. You can then identify where your organization’s activities fit into that theory. Even more powerfully, the process illuminates where people’s beliefs about the task you’re collectively undertaking differ from one another. Until those differences are surfaced, they can’t be addressed. It’s quite common for team members to propose different actions because they fundamentally believe different things about their role in accelerating change.

If you think of yourself as a small organization, or a small player, that belief will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You will set your goals accordingly. Playing a bigger game first requires believing you can.

Surrounding yourself with inspiring role models and mentors underscores this truth too. If you have people who have shown the way toward a goal you want to reach and who believe in your ability to get there too, you are more likely to succeed. Your belief that reaching a new level of performance — fuelled by theirs — precedes any strategy on how best to get there.

So check that voice in your head. What it’s telling you will shape your strategy, personally and professionally, far more powerfully than any facilitator or retreat ever could.

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