Sunday, October 18, 2015

Strategic Intent Lessons from Cards-Cubs MLB Series

A week or so ago I was facilitating a strategic planning session for an association.

I use the Strategic Intent Model ... which begins with where you are (current condition) and then “jumps” to the future status (desired condition). (See image below.)

A couple of the board members were rabid Cubs fans (you know, the professional baseball team that always gets close but never wins the World Series). After spending 35 years in St. Louis, I can be considered a fan of the Cardinals (you know, the baseball team that holds the most World Series trophies in the National League).

At dinner, the Cubs fan shared the changes the Cubs had made to try to get their first World Series victory in 108 years.

New owner: The Chicago Tribune sold Cubs to the Ricketts family.
New general manager (experience; built team that won first World Series in Boston)
New manager (old pro)
New players: Cubs dumped big salary players, let go of star players and built from within
New culture

That night, I woke up thinking about the Cardinals:

New owners
New general manager (no experience as GM but considered “new breed” of GM)
New manager (only managerial experience was Little League team but played for Cardinals and experienced in “the Cardinal Way.”)
New players: Cardinals refused to pay big bucks, let go of star players and built from within
Continued culture

Both teams desired to win the World Series.

Both started where they were, looked at where they wanted to be, and made changes to help get them there.

One saw where they were and made major changes.

The other saw where they were and made adjustments.

That, to me, is the example of great Strategic Intent.

PS. As you surely know, the Cubs beat the Cardinals and are now one step closer.

PPS. Want more on the Cubs? Read The Wall Street Journal piece headlined How the Cubs Emerged From the Stone Age

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