The Craft: Roger Martin on Strategy

Freddie Luchterhand-Dare
March 20, 2023

In this week’s episode of The Craft, Professor Roger Martin discusses with Openspace’s CFO, Omesh Fabiani, on strategy and what it takes to be a good strategic thinker. Roger was named the world’s Number One Management Thinker by Thinker’s 50. Roger is a trusted strategy advisor to CEOs of companies worldwide, and is also a former Dean and Institute Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto in Canada.

Here are several key takeaways from their conversation:

- Strategy is first and foremost choice. So it’s choices that companies make to do some things and not other things. And I think of it as kind of an integrated set of choices that compel customers to do something that you want them to do.

- There are 5 choices that you need to make a strategy. They are:

  1. What is your winning aspiration?
  2. Where are you going to play?
  3. How are you going to win?
  4. What are the must-have capabilities to win?
  5. What management systems do you have in place to build and maintain capabilities to win?

- Strategy is not an activity that’s exclusive to top management, and it’s something that’s relevant to everybody across the organization, at various levels. And that kind of helps give a greater sense of ownership and control over how you shape what you’re doing.

- Integrative thinking is about combining the best of different ideas. Rather than choosing between two different ideas, what one can do is to combine the upsides of both ideas to come up with the best possible solution.

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