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Let’s travel back to the early 1990s when mega bookstores exploded. It is a Saturday, and the scene is buzzing with coffee drinkers, shoppers, and people just hanging out. One of the biggest areas of the bookstore is the teen section filled with fun & fast reads, including the popular series “Choose your Own Adventure.” Of course, you buy a few new titles to add to the stack back at home.

Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) was one of the most popular and profitable children’s book series of the 80s and 90s, selling over $250 million copies by 1998. (Reference: Wikipedia) What was so appealing about this series and what does it have to do with strategy?

In the CYOA books, the protagonist is met with many choices. These choices could be between 2 actions, or action versus “do nothing.” In both cases the protagonist has limited information. Based on the action (or inaction) selected, the storyline develops positively or negatively. In some cases, the storyline ends right there and the reader has to go back to the last decision and try again. Lucky readers breeze through the book to a successful end, but most readers fail multiple times before making it to the optimal ending.

Once you complete the story, you compare your journey with friends that also read it. You find out you both failed at some of the same places, made different “correct decisions”, and somehow made it to the end.

Sounds like, well, leadership. 

New leaders are often “teenagers” at strategy:

    • They get lucky with some good decisions, but often meet dead ends.
    • They have to revisit decisions and make different choices.
    • They need a framework for their decision-making connected to metrics, and may not know the right way to go.
    • Just like CYOA, there are multiple RIGHT ways to make it to the end result. For example, leaders may choose OKRs versus KPIs to establish company metrics. Assuming the company has a process and tool for measuring, both methods can yield positive results.

Strategypoint understands leaders must choose their own adventure and learn from it. Our solution houses templates for both big picture planning (ex: high growth plan versus start-up) and targeted analysis (ex: SWOT). Starting the adventure with pre-defined, best practices frameworks means leaders can focus on the decision-making journey instead of building a plan from scratch.

To learn more about how to manage & measure your strategic vision, visit or contact us at