Strategy works best with our long-term memory

When working with strategy, we need to differentiate the way we work our short-, and long-term memories. That is, our short-term memory stores information sequentially, e.g. a short To Do-list and our long-term memory stores information in networked associations visualized with doing statements.

Strategy is about change and change is described by the end-state position we want to be in at the end of our strategic journey.
A well known end-state position is Kennedy’s famous statement:

“I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.”
 John F. Kennedy
Address to Joint Session of Congress, on Urgent National Needs (25 May 1961)

This end-state position describes the who and what to do in present tense and with a visual context that makes it easy for us to recall it from our long-term memory. The capacity in our long-term memory with networked associations is unlimited compared to our short-term memory with maximum 7 items.

To be successful with a chosen strategy is to define the end-state position with a visual context combined with a textual language of who is doing things.

Take this into account next time you sit down and define your strategy!

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