In order to answer that question, you need to consider the context. IBM isn’t just one organization or company, it’s a company within a company within a company, ad nauseum.

With a structure similar to this, it means that one operational strategy cannot apply to all situations. In order to practice design strategy, one must consider the structure & direction of the organization, be open to a wide range of tactics to consider, embrace the role of self-education & advocacy, and to tolerate whatever situations may arise.

Abstractly, the image above outlines my stakeholder map. As you can see, some of the roles and teams are closer to mine than others, and they all can influence each other (you’d be surprised that some of these teams don’t know this), and they might not even know who I am.

When it comes to the development of a product or an offering, it’s important to consider this hierarchy, which can determine roadblocks, innovations, pivots, and most importantly, collaboration opportunities. To be tactically proficient means that as a strategist, you need to embrace multiple tactics & constantly be learning.

For example, you might be working with an unproven or new machine learning technology, which means that your assumptions about the overall user experience are reliant on the engineers & researchers who are working alongside you, and you might not get what you want in the end. To solve that, constant communication & alignment about what you want to do and what you can do is vital. Read more from…

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