Two Ways to Overcome the Pipe Dream Problem

Ivory-tower-leaders mastermind their own demise when they craft strategies and plans without considering the talent on the team.

Your dreams are doomed
if the horses in the barn can’t pull the wagon.

In, “Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream,” Steve Van Remortel asks,

“Can you name one aspect of your business
that strategy or talent won’t address?”

Organizational challenges can be solved by:

  • Improving strategy.
  • Optimizing talent.

One without the other, however, is a disaster.

Steve’s Five Fundamentals of Strategy and Talent

  1. Differentiation. Make your differentiation so clear your customers will choose you over your competition and pay you more when they do. Stop selling vanilla ice cream.
  2. Tangible value. Don’t just say you’re the best – prove it.
  3. Talent management. Identify, select, develop, and retain the talent that’s able to execute and deliver your competence and plan.
  4. Tactical/Department plans. Develop and execute action plans that work “on” the business in each department.
  5. Plan execution. The journey doesn’t end with the completion of a plan; it’s only the beginning! Create a culture of discipline that focuses on accountability.


  1. What makes us most different from our competition?
  2. How can we let customers understand and appreciate the value we bring?
  3. Where can our current talent take us?
  4. How can we enable talent to create the future?
  5. What’s the execution plan?

Getting started:

Steve believes the process of improving strategy and optimizing talent begins by building a team that can guide you through current challenges into the future. His book comes with a code to access free online behavioral style assessments to aid formation of strategy making teams.

Follow Steve on twitter: @stopthevanilla

What are the core components of organizational strategy?

How can leaders successfully optimize talent?