Let me change the way you look at the word game-changer

“The pandemic is a game-changer.” I wrote the sentence and immediately regretted it.

Game-changer. Seriously?

I had this nagging feeling that I was overusing that specific word and decided to think about it more deeply. But instead of chucking the word in the bin I ended up liking it even more. Game-changers aren’t rare superlatives to be saved for special occasions only.

All strategy is about changing the game.

Every strategic approach is about trying out a specific solution after you’ve defined a problem. Defining the problem is mostly about narrative. It is storytelling. A good story helps us preserve information. It helps us make sense of the world.

But making sense of the world isn’t enough. We are the kind of monkeys that need to go out and change that world. After we’ve defined a problem, we set out to solve it. Strategy is action.

That’s how I understand Peter Drucker’s famous warning that culture eats strategy for breakfast. If you never get out of the talking stage, not a lot will change.

Narrative and strategy are a two-way street.

If a strategy ends up solving a problem, this will change the way we look at the problem itself. Without changing the narrative, strategy is just novelty, not innovation.

Therefore every meaningful solution to a problem is a game-changer. And since we’re the type of monkeys that enjoy solving problems on a daily basis, it is only normal for ‘game-changer’ to be a common word in our vocabulary.