The art & science of creating strategy and unleashing change

A crash course from Keith Yamashita

  • Outlaw PowerPoint. Write down your vision as a story — with a beginning, middle, and end — to clarify what must change first.
  • Don’t rely on words alone. Bring your thinking to life: Create an exhibit, use diagrams, prototype ideas.
  • Make strategy an everyday act. The creation and re-creation of strategy shouldn’t be a process that you undertake only when budgets are due.
  • Argue forcefully against your most dearly held hypotheses. Only then will you know if they stand up to scrutiny.
  • Make decisions, right or wrong. There’s nothing worse than waffling.
  • Take over the TV station. Airtime is everything. Reinforce your messages in everything that you do. Use every ad, press release, store, package, and event to tell your story.
  • Embrace thine enemy. Make a list of the people who could legitimately stop your big idea from taking root. Befriend them. Convince them. Make it their responsibility to improve on your vision.
  • Don’t hold meetings longer than two hours. (Otherwise they’re workshops, which require more planning.) And don’t walk out of a meeting without assigning a name to every item that needs follow-up.
  • Startle people. Break out of your comfort zone, and do something unexpected. Run an offbeat ad. Institute casual-dress Tuesdays.
  • Don’t throw anything out. Don’t kill ideas that won’t work right now. Someday soon, the world might be ready for them.

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