Your twinkle: the key to good strategy


Being good at something and even being a “good organisation” isn’t enough to ensure success.

Nice guys don’t always finish last, but they are not assured of success either. Don’t get me wrong, I am a hopeless optimist, I have kept my twinkle!

Right now, there are some real challenges that are creating a squeeze across the economy. It is not the time to panic, now is the time to plan. I am not advocating ignoring the economic realities, but we all need to think beyond the curve, things will pick up and now is the time to work out your strategy, to position for when it does.

There are loads of processes to help you approach strategies, you only need to google to find design thinking processes, customer experience and planning templates. There are loads of people with great business instincts and commercial minds who can churn you out a very sensible strategy. However, if you want a strategy that others can’t come up with, you need to get creative.

To do this, you need your twinkle. This means approaching your challenges with a childlike curiosity and a willingness to dig in to things that may at first appear fanciful or idealistic. It is something that work life often teaches us to suppress or ignore.

Can you imagine being the first person in a meeting to suggest an ape playing the drums would sell chocolate or that meerkats could sell insurance? Strategists need the freedom to use the same level of creative problem solving. We need to think without boundaries, to regress, to find our twinkle.

Here is how you can do it;

  1. Do the bulk of your strategy work in the mornings when you’re fresh

  2. Gather a diverse range of people to help frame and work through the challenge

  3.  Actively draw inspiration from other industries, countries and era’s

  4. Don’t dismiss any idea, build on it and explore it

  5. Engage your twinkle!

Maybe you will find a whole new customer segment by evolving your offering, you might decide to reduce your offering to give renewed focus only to the customers which are most profitable, or you might form a new partnership with another organisation to realise a whole new market. It could go anywhere if you can approach with an open mind.

With the economic slow down we are dealing with, now is the time to plan. Don’t just focus on “weathering the storm”, this is the opportunity to be bold for when the clouds clear, which of course they will. When everyone else is hiding, cutting costs and contracting, you can seek out what comes next with a groundbreaking strategy, all you need to do is keep your twinkle!  

Gavin Youngman
Director of Twinkle and Strategy
Focus Creative

Focus Creative