Strategy Scaffold

A number of man-made masterpieces, including the Egyptian pyramids and Michelangelo’s painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, were made possible by the use of scaffolds. A scaffold is a temporary structure used to elevate people to a higher place in order to work. Drive by any number of structures being built or refurbished, and there’s a good chance you’ll see scaffolding supporting people to work at greater heights. Scaffolds range from the relatively simple ones used to work on a home project to the grander versions for assisting projects as important as enhancements to the Statue of Liberty.

Mastering the three disciplines of advanced strategic thinking— coalesce, compete, and champion—requires the ability to work at a higher level. The Strategy Scaffold provides leaders with a one-page tool to build, adjust, and communicate the foundational elements of the business. A crucial part of the leader’s strategic skill set is to be able to clearly and concisely convey the essence of the business. A study of 1,000 global companies confirmed this importance as the researchers concluded: “The only competency viewed as essential for CEOs, COOs, and CFOs alike was developing an accurate and comprehensive overview of the business.”7 The Strategy Scaffold provides leaders with the framework to see how the foundational elements of their business connect and support one another. It also can illuminate cracks in the foundation of the business, which if left unnoticed, could lead to its eventual collapse. The Strategy Scaffold consists of the following three planks:

  • 1. Purpose: The intent of the business represented by the following elements:
    • o Mission: Current purpose; clear, concise, and enduring statement of the reasons for an organization’s existence today о Vision: Future purpose; provides a mental picture of the aspirations an organization is working toward
  • 0 Values: Guide purpose; ideals and principles that influence the thoughts and actions of an organization, and define its character
  • 2. Business Model: A structural description of how the organization creates, delivers, and captures value.


  • 0 Core Competency: Primary area of expertise (what you know)
  • 0 Capabilities: Activities performed with key resources (what you do)
  • 0 Value Proposition: Rationale for the offering (customer, need/ job, approach, benefit)


  • 0 Value Chain: Configuration of capabilities to provide value (how you do it)
  • 0 Channels: Customer access points for offerings (where you offer it)


  • 0 Price Position: Amount customers pay for the offering relative to alternative options (low, moderate, premium)
  • 3. Plan: The strategic direction of the business.
  • 0 Goals: What you are trying to achieve (general)
  • 0 Objectives: What you are trying achieve (specific)
  • 0 Strategy: How you will achieve the goals/objectives (general)
  • 0 Tactics: How you will achieve the goals/objectives (specific)
Strategy Scaffold

Figure 4.2 Strategy Scaffold

Figure 4.2 represents the Strategy Scaffold framework.

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