Let’s get SERIOUS about strategy.

Ask ten people to define strategy, and you’ll get ten very different answers. Strategy is one of the most glorified – and least understood – aspects of commercial success. With much of its history buried in dense academic literature, it’s no wonder that very few people have a solid mastery of this critical leadership skill.

Sequent has mined the literature, and combined it with nearly two decades of cross-industry, cross-functional experience to bring you a one-of-a-kind strategy class: SERIOUS Strategy©, offering a new understanding of the many schools of strategy, a practical roster of inputs needed to formulate a winning game plan, and an updated framework for 2024.

Improve your team’s use of strategy in 3 key areas:

Understand the evolution

The strategy approaches used by “Corporate America” for the past 50+ years have been largely shaped by a few key thought-leaders. We’ll discuss top influencers – including Porter, Mintzberg, Jobs, Bezos, and others – so you can recognize and call out their perspectives as “points-of-view,” and not “Bible.”

Choose the right tools

The best strategy approach for your company depends on many factors – the leadership style of your officers, the volatility of the market you operate in, are just a few considerations. In this class, you’ll learn about the predominant strategy schools, and how to choose the right strategy approach for your team.

Manage the process

Strategy isn’t a “one and done” process. Your market changes constantly, and your strategy must adapt. Our framework will help you establish a lean but effective cadence for tackling the periodic oversight and analysis that’s needed to stay ahead of your customers needs, and beat your competitors to the punch

Get ready to make BOLD moves – empowered by insights and strengthened by cross-functional alignment.

Detailed Course Description

The discipline of strategy is one of the most coveted – and maligned – aspects of a leadership role. It’s also one of the least understood, and poorly applied.

This course is designed for leaders at any career level who would like a solid foundation in strategy – fast.

While not required, it’s strongly recommended that you participate in one of our Insights Bootcamp courses prior to taking this class, to ensure you’re familiar with the most important types of market research and business intelligence that inform strategy.

SERIOUS Strategy© is offered in two instructor-led formats:

  • Bootcamp-style: Two days of group training (back-to-back classes, 3.5 hours per day) followed by a 1:1 consulting session. (Designed for executives with tight schedules, or any professional who has an urgent need to understand strategy quickly – whether to prepare for a new role, changed responsibilities, or evolving business challenges.)

  • Traditional format: 6-week course, covering the same content over a longer period, allowing students to “process” what they’re learning more gradually. Includes interactive exercises. 

COMING SOON in 2024: Online, self-paced format.

Learning Objectives:

  • Cultivate a better understanding of the background of business strategy, as important context for making choices about your company’s approach to the market: 
    • Briefly explore the history of business strategy going back to Sun Tzu and military applications
    • Develop a strong understanding of the most prevalent modern schools of strategy as outlined by Mintzberg et. al, discussing the role of key thought leaders and how they’ve influenced today’s most common strategy tools – including Balanced Scorecard, Hoshin Kanri, and others
    • Discuss the emergence of Agile, and how this product development methodology has come to influence corporate strategy at the highest levels – for better or for worse
    • Compare the “old schools” with more recent strategic influences, including the “Work Backward” philosophy from Jeff Bezos, “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek, and others
    • Consider selected case studies to illustrate and reinforce understanding of the “Five P’s” of strategy
  • Outline the most essential inputs into strategy development:
    • Illustrate the need for insights from research and business intelligence when formulating your strategy, as essential context
    • Evaluate the pros and cons of different tools for gathering operational and recce information “on the ground” in real-time
    • Examine potential criteria that can be defined in advance as markers of effective strategy, as a checkpoint to be used after your strategy has been developed
  • Introduce an updated, repeatable process for strategy development that combines aspects of the time-tested frameworks with new tools for addressing market challenges
    • Discuss the 18 individual capacities that are needed to improve your organization’s strategic performance
    • Review 7 dimensions of the customer experience which present key opportunities for value creation, and prioritize them using the context provided by the insights gathering phase
    • Learn how Design Thinking and other ideation tools can help your company break the cycle of timid incrementalism to develop a strong and courageous approach that is based in data
    • Demonstrate how to use a business strategy canvas to translate your “big idea” into a comprehensive game plan
    • Present a process and cadence for continuously improving strategy as new information becomes available – applying context, judgment, and guidelines to allow for adaptation while avoiding abrupt directional changes which can lead to employee burnout and undermine strategic planning

Course Outcomes:

  • Participants who complete this course will be better equipped to engage in productive discussions about strategy
  • Participants will be able to critically evaluate newly developed strategies from a perspective informed by knowledge, rather than personal response
  • Participants will improve their own ability to formulate effective strategies using a lean, structured approach

Take your strategic skills to the next level – enroll in our SERIOUS Strategy© class today! 

Ready to
get in touch?

We’d love to understand the challenges you are facing, to see if we can help.

Send us an email at info@sequent.solutions and we’ll figure it out!

We look forward to connecting with you!