Strategy: red flag #1

Alexander Lyadov
2 min readJan 27, 2023
Unknown artist

How do you know if a company is not taking strategy seriously? Look at who is responsible for the process. For example, if the selection of the strategy session moderator is handled by the HR manager or assistant, this is a red flag. Why?

The very name “strategic” implies the fundamental nature of the decisions made during the session, through which the company will make a dramatic U-turn or breakthrough. That is, it is about identifying rare opportunities that can propel the business into a new orbit and neutralising the highest risks that could kill it. In essence, strategy determines whether the value of a business will go up or down. And who in the company is ultimately responsible for the increase in market capitalisation? Correct, the hired CEO if there is a board and/or shareholders, or the founder himself if he is the CEO. Delegating one of the most important processes to a lower level or two, the CEO de facto admits that the strategy is not important to him personally. At least he does not care much about the product that the group of assembled managers will come up with.

Thus there is a substitution of notions and the planned event should more correctly be called a tactical session, brainstorming, mediation or debate, but it is a laugh and a sin to call it a strategic session. After all, confusing the basic concepts is extremely dangerous because it creates a collective illusion that the company has a strategy and that employees are supposedly included in the process. It is a kind of self-gaslighting — a form of psychological abuse, as a result of which the individual (here the collective) is tormented and doubts the adequacy of their perception of the reality around them. Employees are forced to achieve real results in the realm of crooked mirrors. Obviously, the efficiency of their work will be low. And this is inevitably reflected in inflated costs, low profits and slow growth. It may seem like just a game of words, but there’s a price to pay. Sooner or later the reality will punish you harshly for lying, especially to yourself.

Yours sincerely,

-Alexander

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Alexander Lyadov

As a business therapist, I help tech founders increase the value of their business by unlocking the potential of their personality.