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Agile Strategy for the Social Venture

Thanks for joining me for the Agile Strategy workshop during Social Venture Institute. As promised, here are some materials, references, and inspiration!

While strategy can seem complex and planning can seem daunting, in fact strategy is simply a plan of action to achieve a desired goal. Certainly, for big organizations, it can be a complicated process, including research, market analysis, business modelling, and more. However, it doesn’t need to be complicated and for developing or early growth social ventures, it can be kept simple.

During the workshop, I debunked a number of myths about strategy:

  1. Strategy is for ‘The Big Guys.’ In reality, if you have a plan, if you’re purposeful about your work, and if you make decisions based on a set of values, you have a strategy! 
  2. Strategy is Analytical. It can be, but as management guru Peter Drucker said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast!” So strategy isn’t only analytical or quantitative; it also must be relational and qualitative. In fact, we might say that after a clear organizational purpose, a values-based culture is the next imperative.
  3. Strategy Precedes Branding. In fact, they’re two sides of the same coin: brand is best defined as ‘the public face of strategy.’ It’s the narrative we use to engage stakeholders in the strategy.
  4. Strategy Precedes Implementation. This used to be true, but as technology and markets have continued to accelerate, more agile approaches are essential. So rather than writing a three year plan as a roadmap to success, we now see most of our clients setting multi-year aspirations and then developing quarterly plans, iterating as their organizations learn, develop, and grow.

Slides, Tools, Templates, and Resources

Here are some links to the various doc’s, tools, and references I mentioned during our workshop.

  • Download the slides from the workshop here. (PDF, 1MB)
  • Download the Thematic Goal Scorecard here. (Excel, 12KB)

Here are some articles about strategy that we’ve published on Junxion’s blog. (You can subscribe here.)

Finally, here are a few books that I may have cited during the workshop!…

  • The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber
  • Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
  • Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars, by Patrick Lencioni
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz
  • Good to Great, by Jim Collins
  • A New Way to Think, by Roger Martin

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out via [email protected]