Strategic assumptions force an ‘outside to in’ view of your business. This ability to systematically look outside your business and identify the Opportunities and Threats is critical. The strange thing about strategy is the decisions that are or may be paramount to your business can go unnoticed unless you are actively searching for them. Assumptions do just that.
Every strategy is based on some set of assumptions or vision of how the future will unfold. These insights, instincts or beliefs about a certain opportunity, niche play or unmet customer gap spawn from distilling the outside noise to the unique combinations of company strengths and abilities that leaders believe they can configure to exploit or mitigate them.
The trouble is – many companies and leaders team operate with implicit or unchallenged assumptions that end up driving decisions for good or bad. Further – they over glorify how strong and unique their strengths are really are. Recipes for disaster.
CEO’s need to identify the 5-8 few forces and factors they believe will unfold, quantify them and draw out the parallel internal choices – product, market and capabilities - that will mitigate and / or exploit those forces.
The Strategic Assumptions and Scenarios whiteboard enables you and your team to quickly and visibly do this.