All posts by Matthew E May

Strategy Sprints – A DIY Guide

The word sprint means different things to different people. A runner thinks of it as a race, a mad dash of a few seconds. A software developer practicing "agile" thinks of it as a short, iterative cycle of work, often weeks or months, rather than seconds. An entrepreneur practicing "lean startup" methods thinks of it as minimally viable product development effort of a week or less.

Where Will You Play? (Strategically Speaking)

The question of where to play, strategically speaking, is deceptively simple. Most companies don’t give it enough deep thought and consideration. My friend Roger Martin would say, in fact, that most companies adopt a mindset of “our ‘where to play’ is where God ordained us to play.” In other words, they act as if the ...

What is Your Winning Aspiration?

A winning strategy absolutely must begin with a winning aspiration. Too doctrinaire? Allow me to explain the premise the way I learned it from Roger Martin, one of the best strategists on the planet. The operative word is “winning,” for the simple reason that if you’re not winning, you live in fear of the competitor ...

When Going in New Directions, It Helps to Have a Map

I developed the Play-to-Win Canvas, a large wall map, to help teams explore strategic possibilities. (Click HERE to download a full size PDF, or HERE for a personal A3 size, both sharable under a Creative Commons license.) So, you’ve decided you need to shift strategy. You’ve drafted your current strategy using the Roger Martin Playing ...

You Cannot Craft A New Strategy Until…

…you’ve defined the problem with the old one, reframed it as a choice between at least two mutually exclusive options, and generated some initial possibilities through focused, facilitated brainstorming. (Side rant to all the creativity “experts” out there poo-pooing brainstorming: Go pound sand. Brainstorming works very well with proper focus and facilitation. Creativity thrives under ...