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inclusive strategy

Brain circuits

Five steps to building an inclusive strategy

Published 8 November 2022 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

Imagine you are stepping in as CEO of your company and your executive strategy team presents you with a new strategy they have been working on for well over a year. The problem is the number of initiatives they have included don’t match your budget constraints. Do you simply make decisions at the top and inform the company? Do you ask a broader but still limited contingent of stakeholders? Or do you include everyone? 

This was the exact dilemma faced by Thomas Schinecker, the CEO of Roche Diagnostics, CPS. He took what some might consider the more daunting option and went for total inclusion. Here is how he did it: 

BOOST: Building Our Organization Strategy Together 

Step one: the company held workshops across several locations with all employees invited to contribute. 

Step two: a think tank digital collaboration tool was used to collect and analyze data from all the workshops (11,300 ideas). The structure of these workshops had participants focusing on where to play and how to win as an organization and asked people to consider budget challenges within this context.  

Step three: The ideas were collated into five different work streams and then presented back to the leadership team. 

Step four: using the information collected, the leadership team made decisions about what to include or exclude from the strategy. 

Step five: The strategy was presented back to the company for implementation and execution. 

This method proved extremely successful for Roche and they have repeated it on larger scales since then. Employees didn’t drastically change anything within the strategy, but it gave the leadership team a lot more granularity in terms of the choices they were making. The workshops brought diverse groups of employees together and the discussions were often hot debates, but in the end people reported that they enjoyed the discussion and were excited about being part of the process, so how their inputs were used wasn’t of tantamount concern.  

The high level of employee engagement was considered a success. This is supported by research which indicates that if employees feel a process is fair they are satisfied with the results.  

If you are interested accelerating D&I in your organization or going deeper into the aspects of sustainable companies, you can sign up for the program, “Leading Sustainable Business Transformation” starting from September the 22nd. 


James Henderson

James E. Henderson

Professor of Strategic Management at IMD

James E. Henderson is Professor of Strategic Management at IMD, Program Co-Director of the Leading Sustainable Business Transformation program, and Program Director of the Strategic Partnership course. He helps companies achieve and sustain their competitive advantage either at a business unit, corporate, or global level through directing custom specific executive programs, facilitating strategy workshops, or teaching MBAs and executives.


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