The Cloud Theory of Strategic Planning

Cloudtheory In setting strategy, we need to have an overall vision or overall goal.  The diagram is a way of thinking strategy and planning. My idea comes from the theory of Alfred Adler who talked about motivation and said the human organism is motivated to goal.  Without a goal, the organism will cease.  Therefore our psychology always keep the goal just out of reach.  Thus he said we keep our goal "dimly envisaged". (Click on the diagram so it enlarged) Thus that is my cloud.  It is a dimly envisaged goal. Having the cloud defined, we then need to set a strategy. The boundaries in the diagram represent the strategy which defines the direction we must go to get closer to our goal.  Then we decide on the next few steps to take us closer to the goal.  Then we embark of the first 100 day project.  At the end of that project we evaluate how we are doing towards the goal.   How does it feel and have we made improvement?  That gives us an opportunity to alter the next project slightly.  It is a strategic but incremental approach.  A simple example might help. As you think about your company, you have a image of what you would like it to become. Let's imagine you want your company to become a company that makes a difference for your customers and makes good living for all the employees. This image would be the cloud. To move toward the cloud, you need a strategy. You decide what kind of product or service you will offer the customer. This decision will help set the boundaries of your plan. You decide you will offer customers services in the use of computers for planning for example. Based on that decision, you now make an action plan to get business from customers. As the test your ideas, you find that customers really want something a little diferent and you adjust your action plan. You take an incremental approach to your action plan in the context of your overall strategy. For each strategy, you decide to take some action. For a partner, you decide to look for certain kinds of people. You try that for a while and discover you are not finding the right people. You then change you action and try a different approach. The key with testing if an action is moving you in the right direstion is how the results feel. This approach to implemting strategy is called incrementalism. The approach is quite different form creating the five year plan. The value of the cloud theory is that it gives you a visual model of strategy and the rapid results process.




  1. Jim Hayward Reply

    if you are comparing me with Hawking I am flattered.
    I must confess I have not read it. I must put it on my list.

  2. graham Reply

    No, I don’t think you need to be more clear, I think I do.
    Have a look at the concept of an event horizon in A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.
    His diagrams look like the you are here, moving toward the future
    I was just making an observation that the diagrams looked similar to me.

  3. Jim Hayward Reply

    I do not understand your comment. Are you saying I need to be more clear? I welcome a suggestion.
    Thanks Jim

  4. graham Reply

    you are here looks a lot like an event horizon when taking about time and physics

  5. Jim Reply

    Thank you for the compliment. What did you think of the mental model?

  6. watch vampire diaries Reply

    i have posted your blog on my site

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