How is a strategy concept created?

In my previous article, I talked about the need for a concept to bring consistency to a strategy story, and that a concept consists of an identity of who we are and core values of what value we provide to our customers.

In this article, I would like to consider how concepts are created.

Vision and concept are two sides of the same coin

First, I would like to consider the relationship between concept and vision. This is because vision and concept are two sides of the same coin, and they are inseparable.

In our case, one of our visions for 2025 is as follows.

With the core concept of focusing on the outcome of training, we become a top player in the domestic training market for large companies.

Our vision explicitly includes the concept of “focusing on the outcome of training”. A vision does not necessarily have to explicitly include a concept, but vision and concept are closely related to each other.

Vision

↑ (continue to embody) ↑

Concept

Identity (who we are)

Core values (what value do we provide to our customers)

A good concept can lead to the “resolution of the partiality of consciousness” in the world

In the article in the chapter on visions, I told you that one of the requirements for a good vision is that it must involve a transformation of consciousness. I also told you that visions can have a great impact when that transformation is on the large level of resolving the partiality of consciousness in the world.

In the background of an event, there is a flow of consciousness and energy that embodies it. If a reality is different from the ideal, then the consciousness behind it is not flowing as it should. This is the “partiality of consciousness.

I talked in the above article about how good visions are connected to this “ resolution of partiality of consciousness”.

Since concepts and visions are two sides of the same coin, just as good visions are linked to the “ resolution of partiality of consciousness,” good concepts are also linked to the “resolution of partiality of consciousness.

Let me use Starbucks as an example again. Before the concept of the “Third Place” was conceived, many people’s daily lives consisted of going back and forth between the so-called First Place (home) and the Second Place (workplace). Although people’s consciousness accepts this reality as natural, there may be a gap in the world’s overall awareness of what a true human life should be like. This insight is the “partiality of consciousness” that Starbucks has focused on.

Based on this insight, I believe that the concept of Third Place was born through repeated observation and dialogue with customers.

The conceiving process for visions and concepts is the same

The more detailed process of conceiving a concept is the same as conceiving a vision. Often, visions and concepts are conceived simultaneously. In some situations, depending on the situation and context, only one of the two may be conceived.

For more details on the visioning process, please see the following article and the series of articles that follow.

To summarize these articles, the process of envisioning a vision is as follows.

Visioning process
(1)Start with subjective truth
(2)Focus on the gap between the natural flow of consciousness and the partiality of consciousness
(3)Develop “quests” and use one’ s intuition
(4)Co-creating visions through dialogue and mashups

The conceiving process for a concept is exactly the same.

Conceptualization Process
(1)Start with subjective truth
(2)Focus on the gap between the natural flow of consciousness and the partiality of consciousness
(3)Develop “quests” and use one’ s intuition
(4)Co-creating visions through dialogue and mashups

The details are almost the same as in the visioning process, so I will not go into them here. However, I would like to introduce an example of how we created a service concept so that you can get a concrete idea of this process.

Our company’s core product at its early stage was a training program called “100 Fungos.” This program embodied the concept of “Get used to it before learning it,” and was designed to minimize the time spent on input and maximize the time spent on learning through output.

The concept of “get used to it before learning it” and the product name “100 Fungos” were able to gain the empathy of both customers and internal members during the early days of our company, and became the driving force behind our growth during the early years.

I would like to share with you how these concepts were created in our company.

(1)Start with subjective truth

At that time, our aspiration was “to contribute to the development of the next generation of pioneers who would contribute to the prosperity of society.”

The term “ pioneers “ may give the impression that it is for the development of a few talented people, but this was not the case; the assumption was that anyone could become a pioneer. The premise on which 100 Fungos was born was the strong belief that “anyone can do it if they try.”

(2)Focus on the gap between the natural flow of consciousness and the partiality of consciousness

At that time, the mainstream training style was for the lecturer to speak one way and the students to listen quietly to the content. This was the “normal” training style at the time.

But here’s a question for us. Isn’t there a gap between what we know and what we can do, and if we don’t fill that gap, won’t we be able to make actual achievements in our work?

Also, from our own experience of conducting seminars, we felt that trainees find more value in output opportunities, such as getting feedback from the lecturer on their presentations and discussions among trainees, rather than just listening to them.

This led us to focus on the partiality of the consciousness of the “lecturers’ one-way speaking training style.”

(3)Develop “quests” and use one’ s intuition

Then, the question(quest) arises as to what kind of training would make the participants more enjoyable to engage in and lead to actual performance on the job.

In response to such a question, what came to mind was the experience of each of the founding members in their previous jobs at consulting companies. At a consulting company, we receive a lot of feedback on our output from senior consultants.

By receiving this feedback and improving our own output, we can sublimate it into a deliverable that we can present to our customers, and also grow as a professional. In short, I was learning by making output.

I also thought of my personal experience of playing tennis in university. In order to play with confidence in a very tense match, I had to acquire a shot that I could repeat 100 times in practice. This requires thorough repetition and practice.

(4)Co-creating visions through dialogue and mashups

The three founding members shared with each other their insights and intuitions about the question, and then engaged in a dialogue and mash-up. We discussed the gap between knowing and doing, the need for repeated practice, and output and feedback, writing these keywords on the whiteboard.

I remember like it was yesterday when one of the three of us suddenly said, “This isn’t like 100 fungos in baseball,” and I felt a jolt in my head while the three of us looked each other in the eye and said, “Oh, this is it!”

So far, we have outlined the process of creating a concept, using our company’s case study.

It’s not easy to create a concept. It is not something that you can always find by going through this process. It is more like a series of trial and error, a series of agonizing days, and then suddenly realizing that luck is with you.

However, it is not a matter of “being lucky enough to find one without any preparation”, but more like “doing one’ s best and waiting for one’s destiny” while taking the process described above.

Here are the quests of the day. (If you’d like, please share your thoughts in the comments.)

・What concept, if any, comes to your mind that will lead to the resolution of partiality of consciousness in the world? What kind of “ resolution of partiality of consciousness” does this concept aspire to?

・What is the concept (identity + core values) of the team you belong to? (Even if it’s not verbalized, try to be aware of what kind of image the team has.

Bunshiro Ochiai