I just came across a great visual tool that supports strategy formation. It is the brand-new Play-to-Win Strategy Canvas developed by Matthew E. May. This is a one-page canvas which guides you through the whole process.
This tool facilitates a process that is inspired from Roger Martin and A.G. Lafley’s book Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works. It starts with the question “Why do we need a new strategy?” and then guides you through seven steps:
- Winning aspiration
- Where to play
- How to win
- Capabilities needed
- Systems required
- Reverse engineering
- Strategic tests
There are a couple of things I like about this strategy canvas:
- It is completely paper-based. Intended to be used with a pile of post-its, it facilitates the development of ideas.
Software-based tools are great for collaboration and communication. However, some tasks simply require a team to come together and work on something tangible.
- It encourages you to start with your existing strategy and to move on from there. In most situations, business strategies need an evolution, not a revolution.
- It does not use the somewhat overworked process of internal and external analysis – SWOT – strategic options – strategic choice. Thus, it avoids the analysis-paralysis and focuses the team on the really relevant questions.
For more information, here is Matthew E. May’s introduction of the Play-to-Win Strategy Canvas, which comes with some recommendations for using the canvas.