I joined a video-call for a project kick-off with a new team. As part of team forming, there was a check-in question (which is a pretty standard component around where I work). As we were a new group the check-in was around “one thing you are passionate about.” I typically dread this type of question and I started to get anxious. With respect to passion I’ve always maintained, well I am passionate about many things - but when the question came in I instantly felt like I needed - to share THE thing. Letting some others share first, I found some ease and then a wave of excitement came over me.
Strategy. I am passionate about strategy.
Earlier that day on the train I purchased a new audiobook. Strategy: A Brief History by Lawrence Freedman. I wish I could remember what triggered it - I think it was referenced in a blog somewhere about the difference between strategy and tactics.
Anyway, reflecting in the moment, I realized I have been fascinated and captivated by strategy since 2010 when I pivoted from my then career in education to one in design.
I think I am naturally drawn to it, but my passion for it has been fuelled by the conversations I have had and the ideas shared on the matter.
First it was Luigi Ferrera at the George Brown School of Design, then discovering Wally Olins while working at Bruce Mac Design, then turning to Roger Martin to understand it in the greater business context, not just in design and brand. Lately, John Hagel has my eyes, ears and attention.
I did not go to business school. What I feel strategy is and how it can be executed has been informed by a diversity of inputs. I wouldn’t have it any other way, even if it meant missing out on some job offers in the past! The beauty of this passion of mine is that it's in continuous development. I am always tinkering, trying to relate to others and find new perspectives.