Overthinking Strategy

I am settling into my new job (translation: I’m diving in head first!), so blog posts are still slow in coming these days, and once again I’ll rely on others to do the heavy lifting.

Today I point to a post on the Brand Militia blog about strategy. The first paragraph caught my attention:

This wouldn’t be the first time I have over-simplified something, but often it seems like there is way too much over-thinking when it comes to strategy.  Maybe the the truth is somewhere in the middle …

I like it because there is a lot of over-thinking about strategy (I’m guilty of this, of course) and I’m a big fan of finding "truth in the middle."

Here’s the rest of his post. He presents a hierarchy of strategy: vision, systems, execution; with each level requiring different types of people leading it.

I’m not seeing a clear epiphany yet, but I’d be curious of others’ reactions.


  1. 03.06.2008 at 5:13 pm

    Jamie — Glad to hear that you are diving into the new job. From my perspective, associations tend to over strategize and under implement. They might measure thrice and cut once. When you take an action, the market tends to let you know if it is a good decision or not pretty fast. Tony

  2. 03.06.2008 at 5:16 pm

    That is a really cool post. I like how he gives fun titles to the people he wants…

  3. 03.06.2008 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Jamie,
    This makes perfect sense to me. He’s sensing and describing the phenomenon of work levels which I talk about (excessively) on my blog. And he’s doing a pretty good job. It really is pretty simple; it’s just unknown.
    They were discovered by Dr. Elliott Jaques and a science-based universal measurement system was discovered as well in the concept of time span of discretion.
    For a quick view of what work looks like at each level, you can go here: http://www.missionmindedmanagement.com/requisite-organization-design-a-work-levels-approach
    In addition to work levels (aka stratified systems theory), Jaques created a total system model for organization design and managerial leadership. It’s good stuff.
    Michelle Malay Carter