Small Business | Coaching | Consulting | Positioning Systems | with |Doug Wick

Strategic Discipline Blog

Strategic Learning - Five Killer Competencies

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Aug 9, 2010

A fundamental principal of Gazelles coaching is learning plus coaching equals growth.  The book Strategic Learning, by Willie Pietersen confirms and reinforces these principals.   Strategic LearningThe author points out that the key is to focus learning to shift from strategy as planning to strategy as learning, and thus to the new mission of strategy: to create an adaptive enterprise.

Every effective business process begins by defining its outputs. Work happens through processes that make it happen. Winning strategies will emerge only through a deliberate and practical process for generating insight, making choices, acting on them, and then adapting successfully as the environment changes. The outputs of a robust strategy method are what he calls the "five killer competencies.”

The Five Killer Competencies

Insight: In a VUCA [volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous; see The Pace of Change Requires Strategic Discipline] world, your organization needs the ability to make sense of the changing environment through powerful tools that generate superior insights into market trends, the evolving needs of customers, and the organization's own realities. This is where the competition begins. In fact, the competition for insight is the most decisive battle today.

Focus: Throughout the ages, no lasting success has been built without a robust process that translates superior insights into an intense focus on the right things. This involves the ability to make the most intelligent strategic choices about where you will win, and how you will prioritize your scarce
resources in support of your Winning Proposition,

Alignment: Every element of your entire organization-measurement and reward systems, organizational structures and processes, your corporate culture, and the skills and motivation of your people-must be aligned and energized behind your strategic focus. This is a crucial leadership challenge, and without success here, no strategy can succeed.

Execution: A rigorous discipline for executing better and faster than competitors is essential. Speed in carrying out your strategy ‘expands the gap between you and your nearest competitors and improves your ability to take advantage of the next shift in the environment-which is likely to happen sooner than anyone expects. But you'll be able to do this only when the first three competencies are in place.

Renewal: Finally, you'll need the ability to do these things repeatedly, thus creating a cycle of continuous learning and adaptation.

Pietersen makes special note that the fifth competency is different from the first four. While the first four competencies are aimed at producing specific outputs, the fifth is an ongoing cycle of renewal. As Pietersen points out, “The ability to constantly renew your organization separates truly dynamic organizations from those that are doomed to become tomorrow's dinosaurs.  It is the ultimate killer competency.”

Positioning Systems Strategic Disciplines provide your business with the formula to achieve each of these “killer competencies.” Coupled with the One Page Strategic Plan and the Rockefeller Habits Checklist our coaching philosophy is right on target with the concepts Strategic Learning is preaching. 

We’ll explore how in our next blog.  

Topics: Strategic Discipline, Aubrey Daniels, Strategic Learning, VUCA, Five Killer Competencies

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







New Call-to-action


New Call-to-action


New Call-to-action

Subscribe to Email Updates

Click below to Schedule a Free 30 Minute Discovery Appointment NOW: 

Positioning Systems Brand Promise

1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.

2. Metrics: Develop measurable Key Performance Indicators. 

3. Meetings: Establish effective meeting rhythms. (Cadence of Accountability)  Compounding the value of your priority and metrics. 

(BRAND PROMISE GUARANTEE): We will refund all compensation if our disciplined coaching and proprietary tools fail to meet your expectations.

Certified Gazelles Coach

Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

Latest Posts

Browse by Tag

see all