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Why You Need to "Get" the Business Strategy

Published about 1 month ago • 2 min read

Why You Need to "Get" the Business Strategy

by Jeff Humble


Dear Reader,

I ran a strategy workshop for 20 design leaders and managers here in Berlin yesterday.

We discussed the 3 levels of strategy. Here's the slide:

Ok, here's a quick breakdown of the 3 levels:

  • Corporate Strategy - Most companies don't need a Corporate Strategy. An example would be Alphabet's Corporate Strategy for Google and YouTube. You can probably ignore that one.
  • Business Strategy - The main strategy at most companies. It tells you where you will compete in the market and how your company's offerings are unique.
  • Functional Strategy - Most companies have many Functional Strategies, such as a UX or product strategies. Any team of sufficient size might need a functional strategy.

Why Business Strategy matters

I've noticed that designers have little to say about the middle layer: Business Strategy.

This is such a missed opportunity.

The Business Strategy is probably the main strategy in your organization that all the others align with.

I get it...business strategies are usually so vague and filled with buzzwords that they're next to impossible to decipher.

But your company's business strategy is worth decoding.

Here's why:

  • It is future-oriented: business strategy is the most important future-oriented artifact in the company
  • It makes you autonomous: business strategy should help you make decisions without constantly checking with leadership
  • It's lasting: business strategy should be your company's chosen direction for the next 1-5 years
  • It's your starting point: any design strategy you create should start by aligning with the business strategy
  • It's your target for organizational change: if you can learn to shape the business strategy, you have instant impact into every part of the org

Every action you take can be improved by examining your company's business strategy—that's why it's there. The promise of aligning to the business strategy is this:

Every action through the strategy should put you in the right direction.

Aligning your action with the executive team can be a huge career booster.

Your managers will marvel at your continuous focus on company goals. What better way to prove you're worthy of a promotion?

Upcoming workshop on business strategy

If you want to learn more, I'm running a workshop in June, and you're invited!

June 13th, 2024
19:00-21:00 pm Berlin Time・10-12 am San Francisco Time

Full meme here

We're so dead...a California company called Figure created a robot powered by OpenAI, and the results are terrifying.

Full video here

Can I take the blue pill and go back now please?


WORKSHOP: Aligning with Strategy
June 13, 2024
Learn how to identify and shape strategy
Reserve a Seat (sold out)


COURSE: Facilitating Workshops
Fall, 2024
Want to be notified when we release the next course date?
Sign up for the Waitlist


COURSE: Defining UX Strategy
Nov. 4-Dec. 16, 2024
Learn to design a winning strategy that aligns design with business
Reserve a Seat


Until next time! ✌️

Jeff Humble
Designer & Co-Founder
The Fountain Institute

P.S. We just launched the self-paced version of Defining UX Strategy! 🥂🎇 This course contains 27 video lessons, and it's the perfect way to learn how to design strategy if you're a busy designer who doesn't have time for weekly classes. Check out the video course here.

The Fountain Institute

The Fountain Institute is an independent online school that teaches advanced UX & product skills.

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