For purposes of strategy development & execution, we define doctrines as what you believe to be true about your markets, your organization and your opportunities. These fundamental beliefs serve as the foundation of your organization. And more than anything else, your doctrines will define your organization’s destiny.
Doctrines precede, and almost always supersede, your vision and strategy. They are the pillars on which organizational direction rests. And while doctrines are deeply embedded in the intuitive core of your team, they are too often poorly defined and ineffectively communicated.
A few examples of meaningful doctrines in action below:
These doctrines proved fundamental to future success. It is no accident that these doctrines all articulate a contrarian position. Great doctrines usually do. Conventional wisdom would have said that micro-blogging was incomplete or worse–that it was dumb. Almost everyone alive in 1899 knew that human flight was impossible. And large warehouse home improvement stores hadn’t been tested, were completely unproven and would almost surely fail to deliver the service level that traditional hardware stores could provide. And yet…
In his book Zero to One, Peter Thiel describes the value of taking a contrarian position. Thiel says that the place where organizations find maximum success is when they are right about something that very few others believe to be true.
Correct > Incorrect. But—Correct about the Unconventional > Correct about the conventional
As you define your core doctrines, make sure that you aren’t just capturing conventional wisdom but are instead pushing your thinking forward, uncovering secrets and clearly defining the beliefs that make your organization unique.