Audio Interview

The strategy spine: how and why you should create one

Published on June 27, 2023   22 min

Other Talks in the Playlist: Interviews with business leaders and scholars

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Interviewer: Today I'm interviewing Professor Rita McGrath, Professor in the Faculty of Executive Education at Columbia Business School on her article, "Does your strategy have a spine?" published in Harvard Business Review of 29 of June 2022. Listeners are expected to have read both the article and Professor McGrath's website bio before listening. Links to both accompany the interview. Professor McGrath, thank you for sparing the time. May I start by extending your metaphor of a spine by asking, to what extent, if at all, does the strategic spine fulfill the purpose when first produced, of the skeleton we were all taught to prepare before writing an essay or answering a long-form question? Is it, perhaps, a narrative prerequisite for preparing a classic business plan? Professor McGrath. Prof. McGrath: I would say that's a good way of thinking about it. The motivation for writing that article was that very often I found that there was a disconnect between the elements that need to be integrated to support a strategy. You had budgets that were often prepared without reference to specific strategic initiatives and you had infrastructure requirements that were laid out without really relating back to the sources of revenue that a firm could expect to generate.

The strategy spine: how and why you should create one

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