7 “Strata” of Strategic Thinking– There is More to Strategy Than Just Revenue Growth

7 “Strata” of Strategic Thinking– There is More to Strategy Than Just Revenue Growth

When people talk about having a “strategy,” they often consider this just one thing– usually a revenue growth target. 

While it’s important to have a clear and focused one-phase strategy,
there are actually 7 “Strata” [layers] of strategic thinking, from the Scaling Up process:

1. Mindshare — what words do you own in the minds of customers and prospects? 

2. Brand Promise— who is your core customer, what needs are you providing for them, three brand promises that are compelling reasons to buy from you, and metrics to know if you are delivering on those promises.

3.  Brand Promise guarantee— what you offer to your customers if you break your promise

4. One-phrase strategy— the key competitive “lever” that drives profits, serves your core customer and repels other prospects and competitors [example IKEA is flat-pack furniture]

5. Differentiating activities-– what your business does to execute your one-phrase strategy and is hard for your competitors to copy

6. X-factor— your hidden advantage that allows you to deliver 10-100 times the value compared to your competitors, often expressed as Profit per X [an example is Southwest airlines focus on profit per plane, not per passenger or mile]

7. BHAG [credited to Jim Collins]– your Big Hairy Audacious Goal– your 25-year goal that is aligned with your Purpose and often expressed by X-factor

All of these 7 Strata are designed to be aligned with your Purpose and Core Values and clearly communicated to your whole team on a One-Page Strategic Plan.

When you have clarity and focus on these 7 key elements, they are an amazing filter to make decisions and focus your priorities and efforts.

If you would like more explanation and examples, contact us to receive an executive summary of Scaling Up by Verne Harnish.

To start defining your specific “7 Strata” layers to built into your market dominating strategy– click here to download the Scaling Up 7 Strata worksheet.

[Image by ArielJ from Pixabay]

Do you have these 4 growing pains?

Do you have these 4 growing pains?


Not everyone has the determination and stamina to grow their company. It’s not for quitters or the faint of heart.

Maybe this describes your life today:

  • I know many owners who have reached overwhelm or burnout – they actually dread adding another customer or employee.
  • It feels like they are just adding more weight to heavy anchor they are pulling uphill, and dragging some of their team with them.
  • To make matters worse, increased sales cause cash flow issues and profits aren’t rising as fast. 
  • They work long hours, and sometimes they wonder if the journey is worth the effort.

When I was VP in my family business, my Mom and I felt the same way, and we had all 4 of these growing pains:

  • STRATEGY: Lack of Strategy to grow sustainable sales
  • PEOPLE: Not having the right people in the right roles who are accountable for results
  • EXECUTION: Processes and communication strain or break down 
  • CASH flow issues

If this sounds like you, then I want to share with you the “Scaling Up” process described in the best-selling book by Verne Harnish, and used by thousands of companies to grow faster, more profitably, with less drama.

If you would like the quick summary, here is a 3-minute explainer video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUCy-dEUD4o

Learn more about Scaling Up see full book summary at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/4-essential-decisions-grow-your-company-diana-southall/


Can your business handle 25% more revenue?

More companies die from indigestion than starvation.” – Dave Packard, Hewlett Packard

You might be surprised to know that I speak to business owners every month who want to grow 25% next year, but they don’t have a plan to get the sales or handle the extra work.

According to Scaling Up by Verne Harnish, these are 3 warning signs that you aren’t ready for more sales:

  • Your profits are at or below the industry average [or you don’t know what that is]
  • Processes are not running smoothly now
  • There is drama on the team or from customers from missed deadlines, increasing mistakes, lack of resources, and “communication” issues
  • People are working overtime to fix problems

At the very time when the focus becomes more important, your key people start being “too busy” putting out fires to work “on” the business.

Maybe you are doing this too— getting dragged into daily work instead of setting aside time to evaluate, plan and work on the key projects that will improve the business.

What is the solution? 

Thousands of businesses have adopted the “10 Rockefeller Habits” as outlined in Vernes’ book “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” (and now updated in his recent book, Scaling Up.)