Article | Harvard Business Review | September 2012

Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy

by A. G. Lafley, Roger L. Martin, Jan W. Rivkin and Nicolaj Siggelkow


For all its emphasis on data and number crunching, conventional strategic planning is not actually scientific. It lacks the hypothesis generation and testing that's at the heart of the scientific method. To produce novel and successful strategies, teams need to adopt a step-by-step process in which creative thinking yields possibilities, or hypotheses, and rigorous analysis tests them. They should ask what must be true for a given possibility to succeed—and explore whether those conditions hold.

Keywords: Strategic Planning; Science;


Lafley, A. G., Roger L. Martin, Jan W. Rivkin, and Nicolaj Siggelkow. "Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy." Harvard Business Review 90, no. 9 (September 2012).