For the past six months I have been delivering a workshop for Sage partners on developing business strategy in a small business. There is nothing like teaching a subject over a sustained period of time to help you clarify your thoughts.

(By the way, I believe this is the case because of the number of times you are challenged by participants. So to those of you who challenged me, I thank you!)

In my last session in Herndon, VA, I believe I have stumbled across the Mother of All Strategy Questions – MOASQ.

Most strategy sessions begin with the following premise – How much revenue do we need to make (in the time period for the plan) and how are we going to achieve it?

The MOASQ shifts this – How much value are we going to create for our customers (in the period) and how are we going to do that?


10 thoughts on “MOASQ

  1. I like the question of “how much extra value” — because it assumes that we already have determined what the client wants and sets the expectation that we’ll deliver more.

    Ask any consultant how much value they create and I bet the $$ would vary wildly from the customer’s assessment.

  2. Thanks, Wayne. I really like this question, too. The more I think about it, the more important it is.

    It changes the object of strategy from looking inside to really looking outside. It also implies that value is being created today and that a firm must seek to understand that as well.

    Thanks for your thoughts and being one of the challengers who helped me develop my thinking.

  3. Great shift in questions, Ed.

    The first question addresses the effect, and your version addresses the cause.

    If we create and deliver great value for clients, and we understand pricing and project management, we too make good money.

    Which changes the financial projection question in strategic plans from “How much revenue do we want to make next year” to “For how much value do we have the opportunity to create and deliver in the next year?”

    We can keep this vital question in the marketplace and outside the firm, where value-creation takes place anyway.

    When we project revenues for the firm, we speculate about an effect without looking into the cause (value delivered to the market).

  4. Hi Ed,

    Dropped in your interesting blog via LinkedIn. I consider myself as a student of strategy and enjoy interaction with like minded people on strategy.

    I appreciate the question in this post as it is important to never lose sight of value creation. Yet I feel the focus on strategic objectives profits, revenues must be prime in formulating strategy. While doing so we have the mission and vision to ensure value creation for the stakeholders.

    Thanks will visit again!

  5. Dilip, thanks for dropping in. I am glad you like the post.

    Question for you: What causes revenue and thereby profit? I would say creating value for customers. This is why I think the focus should be on that rather than revenue generation.

  6. Just to much talk and too many meetings about SELF-PRESERVATION out there.
    Self-preservation is driven by fear and and it survives where contribution is absent.
    MOASQ is a great question but it is reserved for those who have chosen serving above entitlement.

  7. I believe the difference in phrasing the question is the difference between a short term versus long term outlook. In the short term, we almost all seek to answer the question of how do we increase revenue, but the goal of doing so over the long haul is understanding how you offer value and how to replicate it over time in scale.

  8. Pingback:Putting the MOASQ to work | Ed Kless' WeblogEd Kless' Weblog

  9. Pingback:The Mother of All Strategy Questions | SUM Innovation

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