The Strategy Sketch (Kraaijenbrink)

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Jeroen Kraaijenbrink
Professor, Netherlands

The Strategy Sketch (Kraaijenbrink)

The Strategy Sketch is a structured visual template by Jeroen Kraaijenbrink containing ten key elements of strategy. It facilitates discussing, analyzing, evaluating, innovating and managing strategy in a transparent practical manner and thereby generates executable strategy.

The Strategy Sketch is a visual template that presents the key elements of strategy in a structured and coherent way.
It contains ten elements:
  1. Value Proposition.†What products and services you offer, how you offer them, and what added value they have for the customer.
  2. Customer Needs.†The organizations and people you serve and which needs of them you fulfill.
  3. Competition.†Others that your customers will compare you to in deciding whether or not to buy your products or services.
  4. Resources & Competencies.†What you have, what you are good at, and what makes you unique.
  5. Partners.†Whom you work with and who makes your products or services more valuable.
  6. Revenue Model.†What you receive in return for your offer, from whom, how, and when.
  7. Cost Model.†What financial, social, and other risks and costs your bear and how you manage these.
  8. Values & Goals.†What you want, where you want to go and what you find important.
  9. Organizational Climate.†What your culture and structure look like and what is special about them.
  10. Trends & Uncertainties.†What happens around you that affects your organization and what uncertainties you face.
With the Strategy Sketch, leaders, managers, and others in the organization can discuss, analyse, evaluate, innovate and manage strategy in a concrete and practical way.
Using the Strategy Sketch leads to a shared understanding of an organizationís current or aspired strategy and generates the insights, decisions, and actions needed to effectively execute strategy.

  • Developed in the period 2010-2015 in an iterative fashion through research, teaching and consulting.
  • After five in-between versions, the sixth version was the final one and has been called the Strategy Sketch.
  • Published in April 2015 as key framework of a practical approach to strategy in part 1 of The Strategy Handbook.
  • Used at several pioneering universities in Europe and the US and by various consultants in their strategy consultancy work. At least a 1000 (executive) MBA students have learned about it in their education.
  • Part 2 of the Strategy Handbook was published in January 2018. Focusing on strategy execution, it describes how strategy generated through the Strategy Sketch can be effectively executed.
  • Strategy (Strategic Planning, Strategic Analysis, Strategy Generation, Strategy Formulation, Strategic Management, Strategy Execution, Strategy Implementation)
  • Business Modeling (Business Model Innovation, Business Model Generation)
  • Entrepreneurship (Lean Startup)
  • New Business Development
  1. Activating key stakeholders. Making key persons in the organization receptive to new strategy and mobilizing the resources needed for strategy generation.
  2. Mapping strategy. Identifying the organizationís strategy by describing it on the basis of its ten core elements.
  3. Assessing strategy. Judging and testing the quality of the organizationís strategy against relevant criteria. .
  4. Innovating strategy. Renewing and redesigning the organizationís strategy through incremental or radical innovation.
  5. Formulating strategy. Capturing the organizationís strategy in words and pictures that can be understood the target audience.

  • The Strategy Sketch offers a single coherent template containing all key elements of strategy.
  • The Strategy Sketch enables structured and transparent dialogue, analysis, evaluation, generation and management of strategy.
  • Using the Strategy Sketch helps generating concrete, executable strategy.
  • The Strategy Sketch is a versatile framework that can be used both to guide agile strategy making a well as more traditional strategic planning.
  • When used to map both the current strategy and the aspired strategy, the Strategy Sketch facilitates strategy execution as a process of emergent gap closing.
  • The Strategy Sketch may look initially as very similar to the Business Model Canvas. (as explained here though, the differences are substantial).
  • Because of its intuitive and simple structure, the Strategy Sketch may give the impression that strategy making is simple. In practice it never is.
  • Because of its intuitive and simple structure, peopleís initial response may be Ďwhatís new?í The power, robustness and added value of the framework appears especially after having it used it for the first time.
  • The Strategy Sketch is limited to business-level and offering-level strategy. For corporate strategy a portfolio of Strategy Sketches is needed.
  • Strategy needs to be made more concrete and practical. This can be done by opening up the black-box of strategy.
  • Strategy is an organizationís unique way of sustainable value creation. This means that creating value for customers in a unique and sustainable way is assumed to be the core objective of strategy.
  • To effectively generate and execute strategy, people in the organization (or a unit, division or department) need to make sense of strategy together. This is greatly facilitated if they have a common framework such as the Strategy Sketch.
  • Kraaijenbrink, J. (2015), The Strategy Handbook, Part 1: Strategy Generation, Doetinchem, Effectual Strategy Press.
  • Kraaijenbrink, J. (2018), The Strategy Handbook, Part 2: Strategy Execution, Doetinchem, Effectual Strategy Press.


Jeroen Kraaijenbrink
Professor, Netherlands

Free Download of the Strategy Sketch

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Rahatullah, Effat University
Professor, Saudi Arabia

The Strategy Sketch

I think this is practical and may be universally applicable. It can act as basis for long term strat... Sign up


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