Create a Corporate Playscript

A recent article from, To Run A Business Better, Rethink Its Playscript, written by Michael G. Jacobides, parallels your company’s strategy with a play. His research suggests that companies should develop their strategies by writing descriptions of the logic, storylines, decisions, and motives behind what they do and who they do it with.

He suggests that instead of conveying your company’s strategy through maps or plot numbers on a chart, try writing it in playscript form.

The playscript is not a mere metaphor. It’s a tool to help manage the complexity of a competitive landscape and facilitate analysis and action. They provide a sense of how long good and bad times will last and how value migrates within an industry, and they thereby let companies continually assess their strategies’ relevance.

Jacobides says that organizations have to develop playscripts at two levels. FIrst is the corporate playscript, and it contains two subplots; synergy and financial. The second level is the business playscript, which holds they key to value generation at the business level.

The business playscript comprises three main elements:

1. Dramatis personae and roles: the main actors in a sector, their motives and their roles;

2. Links and rules: the links between companies and the operating rules of the business;

3. Present and future plots and subplots: the storylines of how the players in the sector generate and capture value, and how they may do so in the future.

But how does one go about writing a playscript and use it as a strategic tool? Begin by composing your current corporate and business playscripts. Next, identify the links among actors and the rules that govern interactions. Now, articulate the logic by which your company currently adds and captures value. After this, rewrite your playscript.

Reconsider all of the actors and roles. Reorder who does what in the sector can give you a new sense of who will get what.

After you’ve rewritten your playscript, determine if your company can change the rules of engagement with the other players. Finally, revisit how your company adds and captures value.

The final step is to future-proof your playscript by making sure it can cope with any foreseeable changes in your business. Consider how changes in customer needs may affect your company.

Creating a company playscript encourages employees at all levels to express opinions about how and why the organization should change. Playscripts also offer an opportunity to structure the conversation between the corporate world and society. Employees that fully understand the organization’s structure and goals can create a more productive workplace. To learn more about the benefits of using a corporate playscript, read the full article here.

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