Diagnosis requires observation—both are essential for good strategy

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 5, 2012
Filed in Strategy

An article in the Wall Street Journey describes how medical students at more than 20 medical schools, including Harvard, Columbia and Cornell, attend an art museum intervention to improve their skills of observation. The students are assigned a painting and observe as many details as they can and then get together to discuss what they’ve seen. Students who partake become on average 10% better at diagnosis. 

Diagnosis is a fundamental step in strategy development. Yet it is one that seems to be skipped over in many organisations. Companies are rushing to create ‘the strategy.’ Perhaps executives should be attending a similar art-based intervention and then train their improved observation skills at diagnosing their own organisations so that real strategic initiatives are designed rather than foolish fill-in-the-box attempts such as ‘great customer service.’ Have a look at this simple test for your strategic initiatives.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

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