Be wary of excuses to skip strategy

There are all kinds of ways to talk yourself into skipping the strategy step. But experience proves that it’s always worth going through the process.


I believe in adopting an agile approach. Being flexible and iterative to allow a project to become the best it can be.

But I have to be vigilant about using words like "agile" and "iterative" as excuses for taking shortcuts with strategy.

No matter how well-versed I am with a client's business, there is always value in stepping through a disciplined strategic process. I have seen its value time and time again when I try to talk myself into believing I don't need to go through the exercise. Here's what I mean:

  • A structured approach ensures I haven't inadvertently left out important strategic considerations.
  • The exercise helps me step outside my natural thought process. That allows me to take a more objective look at an idea that I may be in love with to validate my thinking.
  • The result gives me a construct that helps get me, my team, and my client all on the same page.

I've been doing this for nearly three decades and I still have to be diligent not to give myself an excuse to shortchange strategy. It's too easy to use justifications like budgets or timelines to blow by the discipline. After all, strategy is not sexy, and jumping to execution can be seductive. But the truth is that good strategy always streamlines the process.