The Role of Strategy During Transition

Please enjoy this guest post from our collaboration partner, Ann Quinn of Quinn Strategy Group. Ann writes knowledgeably about strategy as a rudder for steering an organization through times of change and transition. An important message as we begin to navigate a new year.

At some point in the life of your organization, there is going to be some kind of transition. A funding event; change in leadership, management or on the board; a new product or service is launched or discontinued; or changes outside your organization that are beyond your control.

Is your first response to hunker down and hope it blows over? You are not alone, that’s a human response.

However, this is the very time when it’s critical to set and confirm strategy.

Your strategic view may not look years into the future due to volatility and uncertainty; however a near-term strategy serves as a much needed rudder during transition.

Just in the mid-Atlantic region alone there are so many corporations experiencing transition right now. Both T Rowe Price and McCormick are bringing on new CEOs and Laureate has recently gone public again after being privately-held and public since its founding in 1989.

My guess is that near-term strategy was top of mind for all these organizations as they prepared for their transitions and the future.


When you come to a fork in the road that signals some kind of organizational transition, it’s time to sharpen your pencil and get strategic.

First, look at your current strategy and determine what will be impacted by the transition and what won’t.

Second, look at each element that needs to shift and decide whether you need new strategies for the near-term, or if you can let current strategy ride until the dust settles. Prioritizing in this way will lend some stability and continuity during transition. If near-term strategies are needed, get to work devising them as part of navigating the transition.

Finally, communicate and involve key stakeholders. Change is unsettling and the more you can involve and listen to your team the easier it will be for everyone to understand new priorities and strategies – or, to understand the rationale behind your decision to stay the current course.

Ann Quinn, Chief Action Officer
Quinn Strategy Group


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