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Getting to clarity: new ways to think about strategy

C. Brooke Dobni (Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan and Principal, InnovationOne, Saskatoon, Canada)
Mark Klassen (Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada)
Drummond Sands (Strategian, Saskatoon, Canada)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 19 September 2016




The purpose of this paper is to offer an opinion of current strategic thinking in North American organizations. By doing so, the paper presents a strategic model organizations can use that focuses on clarity.


The opinion and strategic framework was informed by authors’ research and consulting experiences over the past 10 years with leading companies across a variety of sectors.


Many organizations struggle with the strategic tradeoff between control, agility and risk and end up with complicated bureaucratic strategies. The strategic framework of clarity poses five questions that provides clear guidance for achieving focus.

Practical implications

Business leaders can apply the clarity framework to their existing strategic processes. By doing so, they can re-assess strategy and optimize their actions and outcomes to re-focus their strategic thinking in light of the new economy.


The paper offers a fresh perspective and opinion on strategy using familiar examples to executives. The clarity strategy framework provides executives with a simple but focused alternative to avoid strategic traps and learn from success and failure examples.



Dobni, C.B., Klassen, M. and Sands, D. (2016), "Getting to clarity: new ways to think about strategy", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 12-21.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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