Breaking Down Business Strategy: A Customer-Centric Approach Using Lafler’s Strategy Cascade

Business strategy, by nature, is a complex beast. However, with a customer-centric approach and the effective use of models such as Lafler’s Strategy Cascade, the heart of strategic planning can be harnessed and simplified to align with customer needs.

The Core of a Customer-Centric Strategy

A customer-centric strategy puts the customer at the forefront of all strategic decisions. Rather than a sole focus on financial objectives or internal efficiencies, customer experiences and value delivery take precedence. This model calls for deep customer insights, robust communication channels, and an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction throughout the organization.

Unravelling Lafler’s Strategy Cascade

Developed by Rick Lafler, the Strategy Cascade provides a systematic framework to aid businesses in understanding their present condition, envisioning their future, and charting a strategic path connecting the two. This model’s beauty lies in its simplicity and adaptability to various business contexts, including those prioritizing a customer-centric approach.

Exploring the Elements of Lafler’s Strategy Cascade

  1. Defining Strategic Outcomes: The first step involves identifying the desired strategic outcomes from a customer-centric point of view. These goals should extend beyond financial targets and involve factors such as customer satisfaction and loyalty, brand reputation, and enhanced customer experiences.
  2. Mapping Key Systems: The second step involves identifying the key systems that will drive the strategic outcomes. In a customer-centric approach, these systems could include customer service, product development, marketing, and any other systems directly impacting the customer experience.
  3. Designing System Changes: Once the key systems are identified, the next step involves defining the changes needed within these systems to achieve the strategic outcomes. This could involve process improvements, technology upgrades, structural changes, or even shifts in organizational culture.
  4. Identifying Initiatives: The fourth step involves identifying and prioritizing initiatives that will deliver the system changes. These initiatives should be clear, actionable, and directly linked to improving customer experiences and achieving the strategic outcomes.
  5. Execution and Adjustment: The final step involves executing the initiatives and continuously adjusting the strategy based on feedback and changing customer needs. This requires a commitment to transparency, agility, and continuous improvement.

From Framework to Execution

Building a customer-centric strategy using Lafler’s Strategy Cascade is just the starting point. The real challenge – and also the opportunity – lies in the implementation. To be successful, businesses must foster transparency, open communication, adaptability, and a relentless commitment to their customers.


The marriage of a customer-centric approach with Lafler’s Strategy Cascade offers a powerful tool for businesses to align their strategies with their customers’ needs. This model enables businesses to break down the complexities of strategic planning into manageable steps and create a clear path towards their strategic goals, all while keeping their customers front and center.

Request a Callback

Unleash your organization’s potential today. Contact us to learn more about our workshops and consulting services, or schedule an initial consultation.