Sep 15, 2020 at 8: 57 am

Strategy Tools in Action Report: Dr. Nicola Watts from C 4 Impact

The upcoming Strategy Tools in Action report unlocks trade secrets used by strategy practitioners across the globe. Today's interview features Dr. Nicola Watts, Principal Consultant at C 4 Impact, Australia

Strategy Tools


Over the past years, we have seen a rapidly growing community of Strategy Tools practitioners. From business school faculty in the US, executives-turned-consultants in Latin America, to Australian Innovation Clusters, the Strategy Tools platform is used across the globe to accelerate impact.

So how are people using Strategy Tools in Action? How are companies changing the way they work with strategy based on the toolkit? How are global consultants building their business with the help of the Strategy Tools platform? We’ll be launching Strategy Tools in Action, a report where we explore this in full detail.

With the report launching tomorrow, we’re excited to share our last preview before the big day.

Featured today is Dr. Nicola Watts, the Principal Consultant at C 4 Impact, based in Australia. She discovered Strategy Tools through the international cluster community and now actively uses Strategy Tools in her day-to-day work. Here’s how she’s using the Strategy Tools Platform to kickstart true transformation journeys for her clients.

In the current turbulent environment where businesses are constantly challenged to respond to the challenges of SHOCK-SURVIVE-TRANSFORM, it’s fantastic to belong to a global coaching community that is constantly and openly sharing tools and strategies to support them.

My Preferred Strategy Tools

I’ve got lots of favourite strategy tools – but I think the one I like most is the ‘Two Lenses on Strategy’ because it can really kickstart a true transformation journey.

We can’t always assume that when we toss around words like ‘strategic planning’ we have common
understandings around what it means. In fact, it often seems that members of boards and management are increasingly at cross purposes on strategy
development and process, and struggle to articulate their different world views on strategy.

This visual tool is a great conversation starter ahead of strategy development. Different approaches are neither right or wrong…but it’s important to define key underpinning principles before inadvertently heading down a strategy development process for your organisation that may not fit your purpose and/or your environment.

How I Use It

Business Leaders & Clusters

I use the Two Lenses on Strategy tool with clusters and individual businesses. It is an important starting point when embarking on any strategy journey. It highlights that there is more than one way of doing strategy – and sets the principles and ground rules for moving forward with strategy development and the kinds of tools to be used.

Strategy as Innovation

Where ‘strategy as innovation’ is the adopted pathway, there are many other strategy tools that can then be drawn on. One I use to support early-stage strategy discussions is the Innovation Pyramid. Whilst some elements of innovation are strong and come naturally to businesses, this tool supports identification of areas that might need to be revisited as well as other areas of innovation that might require attention and alignment.

Active Participation – Diversity and Inclusion

The tools lend themselves for workshops and workshop design where there is less talking from the facilitator and more doing by the participants – and where this is no hierarchy. With current COVID challenges, they also work very well in online sessions and using online tools.

Client Impact

Very importantly, the Two Lenses on Strategy tool has ensured shared understandings of how to move forward with strategy and strategy development.

In many cases it has challenged more traditional approaches to strategy – particularly the belief that strategic roadmaps are linear.. This in turn has challenged mindsets around ‘control’ and has supported more confidence with building road maps to navigate complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity.

It has also challenged mind sets around ‘hierarchy’ and leadership and meant better attention has been given to engaging the hearts of everyone involved.

Recommendations to Others

1. Make sure the Strategy Tools you use are aligned with purpose and real problems.

2. Get the balance right between strategy process and strategy content. Strategy needs to be agile and dynamic.

3. Reach out to others in order to connect, communicate, collaborate and co-innovate.



Want more strategy insights from across the globe? Pre-register for the Strategy Tools in Action Report launching tomorrow and get invited to an exclusive release webinar featuring some of the strategists from the report. 

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