Thursday, 11 October 2012

STRATEGY as an acronym

I chanced across a curious little discussion on LinkedIn today where a few people were suggesting what STRATEGY could stand for as an acronym.

Here is a sample of the results in table form for convenience:
S
T
R
A
T
E
G
Y
Specific (ability to communicate)
Thoughtful (there is nothing common about common sense)
Reasonable (in the circumstances)
Appropriate (bearing in mind what others are doing)
Timely (why this, why now?)
Explicable (understanding of process and interrelationships)
Goal Orientated (the link between means and ends)
Yields Results (value creation)
Systematically
Target
Results,
Anticipate
Trends,
Execute,
Generate
Yield
Serious (not bouncing ideas around)
Thorough (every angle considered)
Responsive (to the environment in which strategy is being formed.)
Active (ready to move on ,not passive)
Task oriented (Keeping the mission in mind rather than nebulous thinking)
Explorative
Goal directed
Yielding flexibility (not stuck in old patterns)
Scalability
Team oriented
Realistic
Actionable
Time line
Emotional
Goal oriented
Yearned Goal

This is a fascinating little exercise in its own right, but it struck me that asking people to reverse engineer an acronym out of a word was an interesting way to get behind the scenes and understand what they thought it really meant. Presumably they'd be so busy thinking about clever acronym tricks that they'd inadvertently let their true hidden meanings out. One might for example, speculate that someone who said strategy must be serious, has experienced something of the opposite. The use of such an emotive word as "yearning" is also interesting when juxtaposed against all the other more dispassionate words.

This reminds me a little bit of the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique.

Have your tried this or a similar technique? How did it work out for you?