Listen To: 3 Stories About Strategy

As we greet 2016, it’s a good time to think back on what worked in 2015, what didn’t and why. Much of what you find—both successes and failures—may come down to the strategy that supported your efforts. Too rigid a plan and there’s no room for modification, too flexible a plan and there’s no structure on which to execute. This week, we’ll take a look at three podcasts that explore strategy in some unlikely places, from luxury goods to board games to brand names.
Podcast: Planet Money
Episode: Bagging a Birkin
What makes the legendary Birkin Bag from Hermes worth $60,000? It may not be anything to do with the bag itself. Instead, the mystique surrounding the bag is all part of the company’s broader strategy of cultivating desirability through exclusivity. The Planet Money team explores the clever maneuvers Hermes uses to maintain the status of its products—and why it’s a strategy that seems to be working.

Podcast: 99 Percent Invisible
Episode: The Landlord’s Game
The story of Monopoly is one of unintended consequences: a game which was originally designed to teach civic lessons about the goal of shared prosperity. Obviously that’s not the way in which we play the game today, and this exploration of Monopoly’s past and present from 99 Percent Invisible points out an important detail about strategy: it only works when your team agrees to follow it.

Podcast: Six Pixels of Separation
Episode: Blueprinting Your Brand
How does strategy develop from a company brand identity? According to author Ian Chamandy, developing a clear, well-thought-out brand mission (ideally in seven words or less, he argues) can help companies streamline their processes, become more goal-oriented, and, yes, even create a strategy to execute. Take a listen to Chamandy’s exploration of this idea on the Six Pixels of Separation podcast.—blueprinting-your-brand-with-ian-chamandy/

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