SPS LinkedIn group members addressed the question of how to define a ‘must-win battle’ in a strategic plan. One member posed the question, working on the assumption that there are some challenges that must be viewed as ‘must-win battles’, which may require a different approach to execution than other priorities. He said it could be a challenge to agree on what to prioritise, and asked members how they did it.
The response was mixed. One member took a step back, saying: “I would firstly be concerned about how my planning, strategising and use of intelligence has put me in the situation of having to fight a must-win battle.”
He then suggested assessing the objectives behind the battle and whether they could be achieved in any other way. Some agreed with this approach, emphasising the positive benefits of a win/win or a preference for balance over battle. Others suggested approaches to enable prioritisation such as strategic games.
Finally, there was a forceful backlash against the concept of a ‘must-win battle’. One concluded “I would be suspicious of anyone who trots out a series of must-win battles over time; I would suspect hyperbole being used to manipulate my attentions.” Another added: “Any leader who uses the word “must”, particularly in regard to something external that they cannot control, is probably being emotionally manipulative.”
Why not join the debate with almost 3,000 strategists in the SPS LinkedIn group.