The Strategy Cycle

Wardley Mapping is a business strategy framework invented by Simon Wardley. It helps to design and evolve effective business strategies based on situational awareness and movement following a strategy cycle.

The strategy cycle “is a representation of change and how we need to react to it”, according to Simon Wardley.

The strategy cycle consists of five sections: Purpose, Landscape, Climate, Doctrine, and Leadership.

1. Purpose: 

The strategy cycle starts with the purpose – the “why” of the business. The purpose is about answering the questions “Why are we doing what we are doing?” and “What is the reason this business exists?”. More

2. Landscape: 

The landscape is a description of the competitive environment in which an organization operates. The Wardley Map is a visual, context-specific representation of the landscape.

3. Climate: 

The climatic patterns describe the external forces and rules impacting the landscape, over which we have no control. Discovering and understanding the climatic patterns is important to see how the landscape changes. Some of the climatic patterns can be anticipated providing a competitive advantage.

4. Doctrine: 

The doctrine describes universal, context-independent principles that all organizations can apply regardless of their landscape. The doctrine describes principles for successful operation enabling organizations to gracefully absorb and adapt to a fast flow of change (organizational fitness).

5. Leadership: 

Leadership is about the context-specific decisions of what strategy to choose considering the landscape, climate, and doctrine. Going straight from purpose to leadership and ignoring the rest of the strategy cycle would end in a strategic decision by a mere gut feeling that may lead to bad decisions. 
The strategy cycle reflects the mean time to respond to change (“MTTR”). Following the strategy cycle enables an organization to optimize its MTTR.