#1 Don’t plan for the future – design it

Dogmas for making strategy work
This article was originally co-authored by

1 February 2018

Strategy is about the future. Great choices cannot be made by extrapolating the past or merely optimising the present. Your strategy must fundamentally question your current position and business model by exploring alternative futures. If you do not dare to think the extraordinary, you will never create it.

Real strategy is innovation.

Dogma core ideas

Research shows that 80% of your company’s success is driven by internal factors. In other words, your company will succeed, not because of external factors, but because of what you choose to do. Period. The industry is not your destiny. You are.

In many companies, the strategy process turns into a dreadful number-crunching exercise and a ritualised planning process. We call it corporate theatre.

Surely, great data analysis and planning skills are needed. But in essence, strategy is about making clear-cut choices for the future, enabling you to win customers against competition. That is why we must think about strategy as a highly creative design and innovation process.

Discover the dogmas for making strategy work

Dive into our booklet on the 8 dogmas you can use to create better strategies.


We believe that the creative work is severely overlooked in most strategic processes. That is why most companies get disrupted by smart competitors – and not their own strategic thinking. Typically, companies excel at analysis because it feels scientific with all the numbers and data-driven conclusions. But analysis and data are worthless without the ability to design truly innovative and creative strategic choices that will help your company win customers over competition.

It is time to get outside the comfort zone. Step into thinking about what might be. Say yes to exploring alternative futures. If you cannot think it, you will never create it. Get creative for real.

Dogma perspectives

We asked a few of our colleagues for their perspectives on not planning for the future, but designing it – here is what they said.

Stig Albertsen on dogma #1
Niklas Leifelt on dogma #1

Dogma key questions

  • Do we get truly inspired by new and surprising insights enabling us to think the unthinkable? Or do we end up in data overload and paralysis by analysis?

  • Do we emphasise creativity and innovative thinking when making strategic choices for the future? Or do we spend most of the time doing analyses of the past?

  • Do we deliberately explore and prototype multiple strategic options to make them come alive? Or do we jump to conclusions without really having explored alternative futures?

  • Do we build an atmosphere where all strategic ideas are welcomed, appreciated and explored? Or is creativity effectively killed by lack of trust and powerplays among stakeholders?

Implement Consulting Group is rewriting the strategy playbook. We do this by proposing dogmas for creating better strategies that are more fit for humans and fit for the future.

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