Barbie Dolls? Or Blue Ribbons?

Strategy Is Life from Dannielle Blumenthal

Leaders are constantly saying that "people are our most valuable asset."

But if you look at where most leaders spend their time, it isn't on mentoring people.

Rather they are looking at strategy. Formally and informally, planning how to get to goal. Setting out the big ideas and the major methods. Adjusting, adjusting, adjusting along the way.

For organizations, strategy is life - it is all-important - because it gets us out of a very dangerous realm: people for people's sake.

In this kind of model, people have forgotten that the outside world places any kind of demand on the organization - on them, personally.

Caught up in the "bubble" that is the day-to-day functioning of the organization, they forget the outside world and focus instead on "getting along." Shushing conflict, indulging quirks and whims, soothing ruffled feathers.

Soon enough we are back in high school - and the popular kids rule.

Strategic focus gets us out of the cult of personality.

Do we really want organizations full of Kens and Barbies?

I'd rather we achieve Blue Ribbon status.

* All opinions my own.


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, and, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.