"When you look at our society today, we're bred on action. What happens is we get so caught up in activity for activity's sake, because we're consumed by activity for activity's sake, we often don't stop and pull back out of the tactile weeds of the day-to-day," says author Rich Horwath. Whether
you've been in a leadership position for five, or 25 years, you've undoubtedly read or studied corporate strategy. Oftentimes leaders are tasked with thinking strategically. To address the practice of strategic thinking for the individual leader, Rich Horwath wrote Elevate: The Three Disciplines of Advanced Strategic Thinking. In this interview with Soundview, he discusses the GOST framework, how to move beyond creating new product and service features, and work
with the 6 levers of strategy spectrum.
Soundview: Tell me about the GOST framework and how that brings clarity to the idea.
Rich Horwath: What I've tried to do is create a simple framework because oftentimes when we think about strategy and planning, it gets very cumbersome. There's lots of PowerPoint slides. What we need to is boil these things down to their essence. The GOST framework is really meant
to help people understand the difference between goals, objectives, strategies and tactics, goals and objectives being what you're trying to achieve and how you're going to achieve them.
Soundview: Businesses get trapped in a cycle of creating new product and service features. How do leaders start to move beyond this trap?
Horwath: One of the ways we need to do that is to get back in touch with the needs or jobs to be done for our customers. Oftentimes, there's new product line extensions and new bells and whistles added to products which only usually increases the complexity of the product. It
doesn't serve the customer's true need. The common core of both strategy and innovation is insight. The insight for most business people is what's going to drive the most value for customers.
Soundview: How can leaders work with the 6 levers of strategy spectrum to spur their growth?
Horwath: The strategy spectrum is designed to get people to think outside of their normal course of thinking. We tend to get into mental ruts. The strategy spectrum allows us to re-examine the business model that we have. It asks us to start playing with combinations of ways to
offer our product that maybe haven't been offered in the past. We're forcing ourselves to back and explore the range of options. What I love about this framework is it asks you to first start with the normal ideas for your industry but then it asks you to go outside of your industry and look at
companies that are excelling in different areas. If you're an auto company, look at the hotel or the hospitality industry or look at the entertainment industry. It asks us to get outside the normal frames of our thinking.