Masterclass: Emotionally Intelligent Strategy

What is it? You know all those thrilling off-site strategy get-togethers you've had to sit through over the years? The ones with flip charts, SWOT analysis, and earnest, lengthy and circular discussions?

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

They are just so 20th-century. Today, we are into the 'experience economy'. We need to explore the 'deep metaphors' that inspire our customers' spending decisions. This means tuning in better to what might speak to our customers in the marketplace, and devising a strategy that inspires our workforce in the first place. Bingo! - the emotionally intelligent strategy has been born.

Where did it come from? Much of the credit for this concept goes to the London-based consultancy firm Cognosis. Drawing on its experience of marketing in the drinks and FMCG sectors, Cognosis commissioned research into what managers actually felt about their firm's own strategy-generation. They found that arid, dull strategies were being developed by elite management teams. Middle and junior managers were rarely consulted. There were few reality checks from the shopfloor. The result? Abstract strategies that may have looked sound on paper but won no buy-in from the rest of the organisation.

Where is it going? Leadership teams will have to work a lot harder at developing the emotional appeal of their strategic positioning. They must involve staff at all levels in strategy generation and allow more creative and less hidebound conversations on strategy to develop internally. If it's going to speak to your customers, it will have to speak to your staff first. As Henry Mintzberg has written: 'Strategy doesn't only have to position, it also has to inspire. So an uninspiring strategy is really no strategy at all.'

Fad quotient (out of 10): Coming up fast at 7.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Is it okay to spy on my staff if I think they're slacking ...

Everything you wanted to know about employee surveillance but were afraid to ask.

The psychology of remote working

In depth: The lockdown has proven that we can make working from home work, but...

A simple cure for impostor syndrome

Opinion: It's time to stop hero-worshipping and start figuring out what greatness looks like to...

I was hired to fix Uber’s toxic culture - and I did. Here’s ...

Harvard’s Frances Frei reveals how you know when your values have gone rotten, and what...

Social responsibility may no longer be a choice

Editorial: Having securitised businesses’ loans and paid their wage bills, it’s not inconceivable the government...

What went wrong at Wirecard

And how to stop it happening to you.