Strategy is a verb

“An organizations ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

Jack Welch

A while ago I saw a documentary about one of my favorite hip-hop groups – A Tribe Called Quest. In the documentary one of the members, Phife, has a t-shirt with the message “Peace is a verb”. I liked the ambiguity of the message. Grammatically, as you all know, the word peace is a noun. I also liked the interpretation that the message enables. My interpretation is that if we really want peace, pretty words and beautiful plans are not enough. We need to act. I was in the midst of writing this book and instantly realized the similarities in the message on the t-shirt and the message of this book. Just as peace is a verb, strategy is a verb. No strategies are realized if people do not act. No goals, targets or ambitions are reached if people do not “behave”.

In too many cases organizations ignore a number of aspects that research unanimously claim are crucial in creating a successful organization. When we talk about strategy, change and performance we use terms without knowing what they really mean. There are still a lot of blank spaces on my management map and I have an ambition to be a trailblazer in those spaces.

The ambition is, briefly put, to describe strategy, performance and change and explain how you can work with these and make the way you work with them a competitive advantage in itself. I want to explain it using as concrete and practical terms as possible, and so I will use the language that is available in behavioral psychology.

This means we need a common language. Since I’m into about strategy, change and behavior psychology we need to learn more about these areas. What is strategy, really? What is behavior psychology and how does it affect strategy and performance? How and why do we learn – and not learn – new behaviors? If a strategy should reflect a continuously changing environment, the strategy must imply change – how do you ensure that? And how do you change the behaviors of people so that they are aligned with a new strategy or new strategic direction?

Creating a truly high performing and prosperous organization demands a systematic and strategic work regarding proactive change. Innovativeness, adjustment and learning need to be instilled in the core of the organization – just as sales, finance, production or human resources.

This is what I want to contribute to; knowledge that makes a larger number of people in organizations focus on creating successful and healthy businesses by applying principles of behavior psychology on strategy and change. I hope I can provide members of organizations ideas and tools to work seriously with behaviors and really drive change to further sharpen their organization’s ability to perform.

On this blog I will address anyone who questions the efficiency of management platitudes and wants to strengthen behaviors that lead to actual results. If you are an executive, manager or leader of any kind, and you want to create an organization that performs in changing times as ours, this book is for you.