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Strategy Reviews Need to be Extrospective and Introspective

by Hank Barnes  |  November 21, 2017  |  Submit a Comment

A quick one for this Thanksgiving holiday week.     I’m pretty amazed when I work with clients on strategy, particularly when they are reviewing the direction of the company.

Time after time I see materials prepared for strategy retreats or the output of them and they are all missing a key section–a discussion of their customers and their customers’ situation.

There is talk of culture.

There is talk of value props (but these are usually all about the company).

There is talk of people.

There may be some discussion of the “market”, but rarely does it get to the customer.

Ultimately, these feel like an exercise in deep introspection.

Which is fine.

But, you also need to be extrospective–and not abstract.

Talk about your customers.  Their situation.  Their challenges.  Their options (the competition).

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

If you can’t link the results of your exercise in introspection to customers, then you’ve basically done nothing in your strategy review.

Start with your customers, and then get introspective on what it will take for you to deliver real and lasting value to them.

A great strategy balances introspection and extrospection.

Don’t be one-sided.

Category: go-to-market  

Tags: culture  extrospection  introspection  strategy  

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes provides research and advisory services on go-to-market strategies for technology providers. His research efforts focus on understanding the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. He then applies that research to explore the implications on vendor strategies, supporting the efforts of product marketing, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and CEOs. Read Full Bio

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