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5 Steps to Putting Your Doctrines to Work

Posted on June 16, 2021

Your doctrines will define your destiny. Be proactive about developing, communicating and utilizing them effectively in your organization. Below are five simple actions to help you put your doctrines to work for you:

  1. Discover: Find out what people in your organization believe to be true about your markets, assets and opportunities. Gather information from from all levels — front-line employees, managers, support staff and executives. Use surveys and interviews. Ask people what criteria they use to make important decisions, where they see trends forming, what makes the organization better than competitors.
  2. Develop: From the feedback you discovered, create a broad version of potential doctrines. These are statements of belief, and at this point, don’t worry if everyone on the executive team agrees with the statement.This list is your starting point. An example of a doctrine for a professional services firm might be, “We have developed incredible intellectual property that we use well in consulting engagements but we have yet to build successful products from it.” A bolder version might be “We have great IP but are incapable of monetizing it via products.”
  3. Prioritize: From the broad list of potential doctrines, prioritize your top 8-12. This is a great chance to test the thinking behind your doctrines and to refine them as necessary. Determine where there is executive team alignment. Where there is disagreement, work to resolve or at least highlight the differences. Give special consideration to those doctrines that make your organization unique.
  4. Utilize: Communicate your doctrines to the team. Use them to set strategy, build core competencies and allocate resources. Reference specific doctrines when you make important decisions. Re-enforce their relevance and ensure organizational alignment.
  5. Refresh: Leadership should be testing the validity of the prioritized doctrines consistently. Your doctrines should be fluid, changing as new information becomes available. Add nuance, become more explicit, incorporate new ideas and ask questions that will prevent your doctrines from becoming stale and out of date.

Get busy defining your Doctrines…it is Keystone 1 in the Simply StrategicTM planning process.