The Power and Pitfalls of Abstract Words in Corporate Strategy
Abstract words are a double-edged sword in the realm of knowledge sharing and corporate strategy. They can effectively convey knowledge1 , yet their translation into tangible actions often proves challenging.
Thanks for reading Krzysztof 'Chris' Daniel! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
The Challenge of "Capture Value"
The phrase "Capture Value" is ubiquitous in corporate strategies, easily finding its way into countless documents. It's a phrase no CEO would dispute, but for those tasked with actualizing it, the challenge is real. It sets expectations without offering concrete guidance, leaving the strategist to navigate the complexities of growth with little more than an abstract concept.
The Fear of Reputational Risk
For leaders, the journey is fraught with reputational risks. Beyond the obvious pressure of delivering results, there's the danger of proposed actions being deemed inadequate. In the unforgiving environment of a typical corporation, any oversight or mistake is ammunition for critics.
The Way Out: Rethinking Situational Awareness
The concept of 'Situational Awareness' is often debated due to its intangibility and loose correlation with performance. However, in the world of abstract strategy, it becomes indispensable. Redefining it simply means ensuring that your reasoning cannot be easily invalidated by others.
A Social Exercise in Strategy
Crafting an effective strategy involves a comprehensive understanding of the changing environment, a clear grasp of your capabilities, and brainstorming actions that either improve your situation or mitigate risks. The key is to package these actions in abstract terms, leveraging their flexibility.
But strategy formulation is inherently a social process. Going solo means risking assumptions and oversights that others will quickly spot. Collaborative efforts, on the other hand, foster shared ownership, supporting both the planning and execution phases.
Regular engagement in this strategic process not only strengthens communication within the organization but also enhances knowledge flow and builds relationships.