According to designer/strategist Roger Martin, a strategy is an imagined possibility with which we ask the question “What has to be true for this possibility to become real?”
In this episode IDEO U’s Creative Confidence podcast, Roger talks about how that approach helped unlock Bianca Andreescu’s success at the Grand Slam singles championship in 2019.
One of the fascinating things about this approach is that it acknowledges the need for system-wide changes. By asking “What has to be true?”, a strategist must consider all of the conditions of a system that should shift to make the imagined possibility a reality. Of course, most approaches to strategy do require some appreciation of the state of the strategic environment (e.g., the five forces model). None, however, emphasize the need to guarantee these systemic conditions quite as explicitly as asking “What must be true?”