Most organizations, and even most strategy consultants, are using strategic planning frameworks built for business models that were designed during the industrial age. These methods are antiquated in both efficiency and effectiveness. They are complex – they are costly – they are slow – they are broken.

Whether you are working at a company-wide, business unit, functional, or product level, formulating strategy, planning it, and executing it has become too complex, too structured, too rigid, too slow, and more than half of the time does not produce the promised results.

This should come as no great surprise, given most strategy management frameworks in use, today weren’t designed for the times we presently live in. Perhaps more importantly, these outdated models certainly weren’t designed for the times we’re moving toward – the future. Continuing to use these outdated frameworks while expecting different results is a little like riding a merry-go-round: You can force your annual strategic planning process to go faster, but you are still not going to get anywhere.


Let’s be generous and say that existing strategy management processes and best practices work half of the time. Would you invest your own hard-earned money in something that only works half of the time? Would you invest in a company that only delivered on half of its promises? Of course, you wouldn’t. Yet many organizations continue to invest $10’s of $100’s of millions of shareholders’ money into a strategy and strategy management process with only a 50 percent likelihood of success? Too many organizations, unfortunately, take these risks hoping that this time it will pay off.

Before you or your organization invests another dollar in the strategy you should take a hard look at the results you have been getting with your current strategy management approach. If you find that:

  • You are not satisfied with the results your organization is getting from your current approach and partners in strategy management,
  • Your shareholders are increasingly unhappy with the return they are getting on the dollars you are investing in your company’s strategy,
  • You are overly reliant on outside experts and are not developing your own strategy management capabilities,
  • Your strategic initiatives fail to deliver expected results on time and budget,
  • People in your organization have adopted a “this too shall pass” attitude about strategy and change,
  • Your leadership credibility is at risk because you are not able to deliver on your strategic commitments,

…Then your organization is a member of a large and growing club of organizations with outdated and ineffective approaches to strategy.

It is time to INNOVATE – It is time to drive out the complexity, elitism, rigidity, waste, and ruined careers from the current one-size-fits-all strategy paradigm.


So what are the innovations to managing strategy that will lead to sustained competitive advantage and breakthrough results? We believe what is needed is more than just a couple of innovations – What is needed is nothing short of a paradigm shift. A shift in how organizations think, lead, develop, plan, and manage strategy is necessary to realize their full future potential. At N2Growth, we have given this paradigm shift a name: we call it Advantage Strategy. The innovations required to move towards this new paradigm are significant. Some of the highlights of this new model include:

  • New principles that shift the way everyone in an organization thinks about strategy
  • An agile, flexible, and dynamic process custom fit to the needs of an organization
  • A relentless focus on speed (90-day increments; faster process; faster to results)
  • New, innovative “next practices” replacing so-called “best practices” that aren’t
  • Begins with the end in mind and designs strategy to be delivered from the beginning
  • Establishes clear expectations and accountability for achieving breakthrough business results for everyone in the organization from the start
  • Increases the focus on building core strategy management capabilities internally
  • Requires existing leadership, talent, and organization capital programs to be fully integrated and leveraged

The Advantage Strategy model brings a necessary change in the fundamental elements of strategy management to get significantly better results. We will share many more details about the model in future blogs. For the purpose of this blog, we have summarized the model in the chart below.

Our clients have significantly better results from strategy after implementing some or all of these. To make the paradigm shifts happen, our clients first needed to understand what they had, what was working, and what was not. Comparing where they were with the summary of the Advantage Strategy model above was a paramount first step for them to realize better results from the strategy for their organization.