What it takes to design a strategy

To me, strategy is about potential. There is always potential for growth. Strategy is about finding the area where the most potential for growth for an organization is and organizing things to manifest that potential. The goals of organizations are usually not that complicated: sell more products and/or services to make the world better and/or make more money. When a strategy is needed, there is usually some kind of transformation: a shift in the offering is needed to grow or to adjust to changing circumstances. Strategy is the plan to achieve those goals. But what comes before strategy, what is needed to create a strategy is seeing the potential. Strategy is the product of a process of uncovering potential: potential of the market and the context in relation to the potential of the organization.

Ask why five times


We are currently working for a client that sells women’s clothes online. I am not a woman but I can relate to the underlying why. The Five Whys in this case went something like this:“We want to grow our business.”“Why do you want to grow your business?” (1)“Because we want to reach more women.”“Why do you want to reach more women?” (2)“Because we want to spread our message that you can feel good about yourself not matter what your size.”“Why do women need to feel good about their size?” (3)“Because women can feel insecure about their bodies because of all the advertising in the fashion industry that sets a certain beauty standard that not everybody can achieve.”“Why is that beauty standard a problem?” (4)“Because if you do not fit to the beauty standard, you do not feel powerful.”“Why do women need to feel powerful?” (5)“Because then they feel better about themselves.”“Why do women need to feel better about themselves?” (6)“Because that allows them to be themselves more, accept themselves more and if they accept themselves more, they accept others more and everybody feels more accepted not matter what size, race, age you are.”

Seeing the potential

The paradox of knowing and seeing

See the shift

Break it down

In the case of our client, the first steps were to figure out A/B testing in order to collect insights on what works, getting their webshop up to best practice UX standards and developing a new corporate identity to shift the vibe of the organization from vintage to the empowerment of women. These things are the base for further development of the power of their message on all kinds of platforms. 



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Dennis Hambeukers

Design Thinker, Agile Evangelist, Practical Strategist, Creativity Facilitator, Business Artist, Corporate Rebel, Product Owner