[Q&A] How do you choose a strategic framework?

Jul 07, 2023

Q: How do you choose a strategic framework?

A: Ultimately, regardless of what framework model you choose to use.
1. Be consistent in your language, 2. Embrace the collaborative and iterative nature of the process, 3. Make it your own, 4. Just do it!


Great question! Here are a few of the best answers from our Strategy Collaborative Q&A Session!

As the original question stated, there are more strategic frameworks or models than you can shake a stick at. How do you know which one to choose? Should you develop expertise in one or adopt a jack-of-all-trades approach? Read below for insight from the Strategy Collaborative Ask Us Anything session.

There are various examples of strategic models…

Whether you’re wanting to adapt OKRs for your organization or one of these listed below…

  • Entrepreneurial Operating System
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Strategic Goals, Objectives, and Initiatives
  • Salesforce Model

…However, there isn’t really a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

Recognize that different methodologies may be suitable at different times and in specific contexts. Finding the right framework and structure is essential, but it’s equally important to adapt and evolve based on the nuances of each situation.

Pro Tip:

Knowing that there are multiple methodologies, and understanding when to use them at the right time with the right clients in the proper context is where we can add the greatest value.

Tip 1: Be consistent with your language and terminology within the organization.

While numerous strategic models exist, it’s crucial to prioritize consistency in terminology within your organization. The specific labels assigned to different elements of your plan matter less than maintaining a unified and coherent approach.

Using consistent definitions is essential from mission and vision to strategic goals, objectives, initiatives, and key performance indicators (KPIs).

While you can draw inspiration from various models and frameworks, and you can adapt and change each model to fit your particular team or client, ensure that you are using consistent language throughout that process so everyone you’re working with is on the same page.

Pro Tip:

Whatever model you choose, be clear about the language and be clear about the process.

Tip 2: Make the framework your own.

Rather than striving to find the perfect, one-size-fits-all model (which doesn’t exist), consider customizing a framework that suits your unique circumstances. Embrace the strengths of different models and incorporate them into your own approach.

Tailor the framework to your organization’s culture, previous experiences, and the team’s readiness to adopt and internalize it.

Tip 3: Strategic planning isn’t always linear… embrace it!

Implementing a strategic framework is an iterative process. It deviates from the linear progression often seen in finance-related activities. Embrace the collaborative and iterative nature of strategic planning.

Tip 4: When all is said and done- just DO it!

More important than selecting a methodology of model, is just starting the process. Executing your plan accounts for 90% of a plan’s success–you don’t want to leave your plan that you spent so much time and deliberation crafting to collect dust on the shelf.

The power of this work lies in the rigor of the process.

Where change happens is where month after month, and week, after week, and quarter after quarter, you are consistently coming together in a deliberate manner to talk about how you did. Look back 20% and look forward 80%.

Ask yourself, “Where are we going? And are we moving toward that future state that we envisioned?” If you stick with that, it will affect change.

Final Thoughts:

Selecting a strategic framework involves thoughtful consideration and understanding your organization’s needs. Overall, regardless of which model you choose, these characteristics are required throughout:

  • Consistency
  • Transparency
  • Cultural alignment
  • Customization
  • Adaptability

Ultimately, the framework you choose should serve as a guide to facilitate strategic conversations and enable ongoing progress toward your envisioned future state. Embrace the process, remain open to iteration, and cultivate a culture of strategic thinking that resonates with your team.

Additional Resources to Consider

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