Strategy Choice Cascade Definition
Creating a business model is an important step, and it starts with understanding your business’s core strategy. Developing and refining this strategy is an activity that can be conducted separately from your business model canvas, and using the strategy choice cascade template is the perfect way to do so.
The strategy choice cascade is a diagram that enables teams to make strategic decisions simultaneously that build on each other successfully. On this board, you can create multiple levels of strategy that align with each other for maximum efficiency.
The strategy choice cascade template helps guide and refine your strategy to enter a market or evaluate an approach. By positioning your contributions around your “How to Win” statement, you can position your strategy directly towards your markers of success.
The primary value in this template comes from each distinct phase and how they relate to each other. The template is supposed to be fluid, so there’s no singular direction in the ideas flow. This means everything needs to be mutually informed and relate to the rest of the template, ensuring ideas are aligned.
The template was created and utilized by AG Lafley and introduced to the world in their book “how to win.”
Strategy Choice Cascade Template Walkthrough
For this template to work effectively, the ideas between the boxes must be dynamic, and you must be able to move from box to box in multiple directions. This dynamism allows your team to create agile and thorough solutions.
The core of this template resides in the “where to play” and “how to win” boxes. These two sections will be the foundation of a great strategy and need to be closely linked to make the plan successful. They will also need to be supported directly by the other boxes, titled “winning aspiration,” “how to configure,” and “how to deliver.” The combination of these sections will create a holistic growth strategy for your business.
Here is a walkthrough of how to effectively use this template and link your strategy at every level. We will cover some key questions to ask at each phase to stimulate thought.
- Winning aspiration: What is your purpose? What is your vision? What are your financial and non-financial goals and aspirations? What does success look like, and what is the timeframe?
- Where to play: Where do you fit in the current competitive ecosystem? What proven markets will you focus on? How can you create a sufficient niche for your business? Where will you choose not to focus?
- How to win: How will you win in your chosen market? What is your competitive advantage? Why will customers choose you over the competition? Where will you innovate?
- How to configure: What new capabilities are required to win? How will you arrange the business in order to win? How will you track and optimize success?
- How to deliver: What must happen internally for this to work? What are the top priorities? Where must you fill gaps to achieve the correct configuration? What parts of the current configuration are detracting from your efficiency?
Advantages of Using a Strategy Choice Cascade
Using a strategy choice cascade is different from creating a business model but compliments it very well. It emphasizes growth strategy and focuses on creating a holistic plan of action. Here are some of the advantages of using the strategy choice cascade template.
- Creates Holistic Strategy: The biggest advantage of using this template is how it creates a holistic strategy. Every step needs to be built in relation to each other, ensuring the entire strategy from top to bottom is mutually reinforced. This is very difficult to do traditionally, and using this diagram makes it much more achievable.
- Demands Clarity: One thing that the strategy choice cascade requires is clarity. The template doesn’t work with unclear or uninformed ideas, and it will be hard to link each box without clear ideas. In order to complete this template, you need to be very clear about your goals and how you’ll achieve them, which is a key to sustained success.
- Engages Collaborative Vision: This template is even more helpful when used collaboratively, and given its emphasis on clarity and connection, it’s vital to include your team in the process. It is easy to get everyone on the same page when accessing this template on an online whiteboard, and it becomes much more effective when everyone can highlight their vision.
- Questions Assumptions: To be specific, you are required to question your underlying assumptions and clarify if they’re accurate or not. This template asks questions that force you to question your assumptions and create a strategy based on mutually assured facts.
Strategy Choice Cascade Example
The strategy choice cascade template is perfect for creating a value proposition throughout a company and diagramming how to create value and succeed in each phase of a business. In our example, we discuss how this template can be used for Tesla.
Winning aspiration: Tesla’s winning aspiration is focused on increasing accessibility to technology and retail vehicles while also focusing on improving climate emissions for the globe.
- Providing sustainable travel for all.
- Increasing open source tech.
- Increasing Carbon Neutrality.
- Moving 1.5 million cars in 2025.
Where to play: Tesla’s strategy for reaching these aspirations focuses on the industrial and commercial tech industries and integrating carbon-neutral solutions for these consumers.
- Mainly focused on consumer transport.
- Industrial Travel.
- Industrial Tech.
- Alternative electric transport.
How to win: Tesla’s winning strategy is helped along by their tech head start and depends on the scale of their technology solutions and their brand futurism.
- Tech head start.
- Tech must go beyond cars.
- The brand must be futuristic.
How to configure: The critical components to their configuration revolve around workplace safety, product safety, and their image in the eyes of the public.
- Need to improve car safety.
- Integrate partner company.
- Need to convince the general public.
How to deliver: Tesla’s delivery mechanism for these goals revolves around PR improvement, a boost in manufacturing and workers’ rights, and tech integration between their partner companies.
- New gigafactory opening.
- Increase worker comp & benefits.
- Improve public image.
- Integrate Starlink to new car models.