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The Six Disciplines Blog

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Strategy Is The Cure For Firefighting

“The simple believe everything, but the prudent give thought to their ways.” ~ Proverbs 14:15

Most organizations in trouble are in perpetual fire-fighting mode. The prescription for such chaos is investing enough disciplined thought about “what’s important” to the organization to provide the conviction necessary to drive purposeful action. There is nothing of value in pieces of paper with mission, values, strategic position and vision written on them. What is of value is a process of getting the senior leadership to have a shared understanding and belief in where they need to go; an understanding so clear that it can be reduced to writing.

The next step is engaging the rest of the organization is to figure out how to get “there”, and in the process, build their understanding and conviction as well. This kind of disciplined thinking is what allows organizations to react faster to change. It helps people avoid falling into the trap of “believing everything”. Instead, the team is empowered to act on new opportunities that fit the strategic framework and to quickly set aside those that don’t.


The first priority of leadership is to “give thought” to the strategy of the company. Conviction around priorities is what gives team members the “backbone” to not act on everything.

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Since 2005, the Six Disciplines blog offers posts about performance excellence, strategy execution, business coaching, leadership development, innovation, and business process improvement. This blog has received prestigious awards for leadership and management and has been syndicated by several major media sources.