Sentient Strategy®

Does Your Team Have an Effective Strategy?

Discover the Value of Sentient Strategy®

What is Sentient Strategy?

Do you have an effective strategy that is based on the realities of today? This is the question I posed to many executive teams. Everyone knows the importance of strategy but many companies are spending too much time formulating their strategy and planning too far ahead. The age of the 5-year strategic plan is dead. The strategy that General Motors used in the 1950s is no longer relevant.

Executives feel that spending an exorbitant amount of time on their strategy will translate into a better plan. They aren’t just dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s. They are ensuring all letters have been perfectly formed into beautiful sentences. The market doesn’t care if you have perfect handwriting. It only cares about what you can offer to customers.

Strategies should be shorter, 12 – 18 months at most and refreshed often. I can help your organization create a new strategy using a groundbreaking new process called Sentient Strategy®. I’m one of a few people in the world who are certified in this process. Sentient Strategy will give your organization a strategy designed for the future. 

Why It Matters

A good strategy is the difference between good and great companies, to take a line from Jim Collins. I don’t have to convince any executive of the above statement. The key is formulating a strategy rapidly and by involving the right people. You can’t spend six months formulating a strategy for five years. You’re wasting too much time. 

How It Works

To understand Sentient, let’s look at the simple 2×2 chart below. The two axes are as follows:

The horizontal axis is “Consciousness of One’s Actions” which looks at how informed an organization is of the possible actions available to them at any given point. The vertical axis is “Awareness of the Environment” which looks at how well your organization understands the world in which you operate. 

To make each of the four quadrants tangible, let’s look at a few examples.

In the top right, we have high consciousness and high awareness. I would place Nike, Apple and Ryanair here. Nike releases products customers love and is able to adjust to social trends rapidly. Apple is a profit machine that has managed to grow out of the shadow of Steve Jobs. Ryanair hoarded staff during the pandemic and hired aggressively as restrictions were lifted allowing them gain market share.

In the top left, we have low consciousness and high awareness. I would put companies like Adidas, Starbucks and Volkswage on this quadrant. Adidas is highly aware of the need to cater to young consumers but they have taken questionable actions like partnering with Kanye West—an erratic artist. Starbucks is aware of the many challenges facing their stores—tough working conditions, rise of unions, inadequate pay—but they keep going back to Howard Schultz for ideas. Finally, Volkswagen knows that Porsche is their biggest cash cow (contributing 50% of their profit) but just realized that they could spin out the division into their own company. 

In the bottom right, we have high consciousness and low awareness. I would place Peloton, Google and Uber here. Peloton made the most out of the pandemic boom but failed to adjust after it. Google is a master of selling ads but doesn’t seem to notice the growing issues around data privacy. Uber grew at incredible rates, suing every city government along the way but failed to notice their toxic culture and shaky unit economics. 

In the bottom left, we have low consciousness and low awareness. I would place Boy Scouts, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Air Canada here. Boy Scouts can’t seem to figure out how to move past the abuse allegations. Bed, Bath and Beyond undertook a strategy that any store manager would have advocated against. Air Canada oversold tickets leading to stranded passengers and record complaints. 

In the facilitation session, I will help your organization understand in which quadrant you currently land in and how to move to the top right. 

There are two elements to going through a Sentient session:

Prep Work:

  • We will jointly select who should be involved in the facilitation session
  • All participants will complete a survey to gauge their knowledge of strategy, company values and ideas for improvements.
  • You will share any relevant documents including stakeholder research, mission statement, previous strategies, and so forth.

Facilitation Session

  • In both formats (remote and in-person), we will follow a carefully designed sequence of steps.
    • Define Mission Statement
    • Fundamentals of Strategy
    • Pillar Blocks of Sentient: Awareness of the Environment and Consciousness of Actions
    • Litmus Test for Priorities
    • Sentient Strategic Factors
    • Preventing Strategies from Failing
    • Tackle Critical Issues
    • Implementation Assessment
    • Monitoring and Accountability
    • Next Steps

What You Get

  • Facilitation of a strategy session so your management team can focus solely on the future
  • “In the moment” strategy designed to deal with volatility, uncertainty and unexpected changes in the marketplace.
  • Easily implemented and understood by the rest of your organization
  • Gives your team a framework under to make decisions
  • Flexible framework that can adapt to your organization’s unique makeup
  • Works well for public corporation, private firms and non-for-profits
  • Can be done across any industry or vertical
  • Notes from session and one-page executive summary

What Clients Are Saying

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