When I was a child I used to do puzzles that gave me five possible ways of getting from A to B, only one of which was possible. Over time – probably several years! – I realised that the easiest way to solve the puzzle was to start at B and work back. Tracing the line with my pencil would automatically take me to the right answer, and avoid unnecessary time testing out all the other options.

The same is true of business strategy. Perhaps counter-intuitively, the starting point of strategy should be your end point. Without having an understanding or view of where you want to be, you will have no idea whether you are on the right path.

© Stuart Cross 2010. All rights reserved.