Specifying – or, perhaps, 'discovering' – interests and objectives

One of the greatest flaws of most strategy-related practice is that it assumes all objectives can be specified 'objectively' or made explicit and agreed; this is seldom true, at least not by the people in the organisation to which the strategy applies. And it matters. We can help.

Strategy setting and implementation are still frequently influenced – dominated – by Drucker’s view of management-by-objectives. But the world has moved on.

Organisations are unwaveringly political beasts. Seldom does this matter more than when it comes to the formulation of objectives as part of strategy setting. The management-by-objectives mindset can be beneficial; but it can also mask significant differences in opinion and assumptions. Properly approached, strategy setting can limit the pernicious impact of interest protection in the firm and ensure that objectives point the firm in the right direction.

The now-famous planning approach of Norton & Kaplan, the balanced scorecard, works to minimise the influence of organisational politics on strategy. But it only goes so far.

The balanced scorecard is an attempt to provide a path to more rational, less political objectives set for the firm.

Where you stand depends on where you sit.
— Nelson Mandela

We work with firms to understand the assumptions behind its strategic objectives. We help firms to challenge their assumptions and to introduce objectives that reflect better the uncertainty in firms' strategic contexts and operating environments.


  1. Reframing strategic assumptions
  2. Incorporating flexibility and optionality into objective-setting
  3. Defining corporate risk objectives and preferences


Peter Bonisch
Chairman & Co-Managing Director


Some of the key strategy resources available