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How to Get the Most from the Course

  • After every lesson, immediately start using the ideas and vocabulary
  • If you are building an organization or group strategy, get as many people as possible to participate and watch the video lessons together.
  • Whether working as a group or as an individual, use the templates associated with each lesson to build your strategy.


What You Can Do After Taking This Course

  • Be sharper and more effective in everything you do
  • Create a strategy for your organization
  • Create a strategy for yourself



$750 1 year subscription

$75 per month

$1500 Own it forever



Add four hours of one-on-one virtual consultation with John Warden.  Call or email for details or to schedule your consultations.

 Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course – you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you are subscribed – across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
Should I go through the lessons in order?
Most of the lessons build on each other and use concepts and vocabulary introduced in an earlier lesson. so it will generally make sense to go through the lessons in order. In addition, if you are building strategy, you will want to build the appropriate section of strategy after each relevant lesson. That being said, however, you can skip around the lessons as you desire.
Will there be any more content?
We plan to add detailed “How To” videos for each strategy component and we plan to add videos that go into more detail on many aspects of the course. As a subscriber, you will have full access to this added content.
My company would like to have many of our employees go through this course. Are there special rates available?
Companies that want access for multiple people or groups should get in touch with Venturist, Inc., for very attractive multi-user rates.
Is there a certificate of completion?
Yes and it may meet requirement for some professional education continuing education requirements. You may also want to reference it on your LinkedIn profile as have several Prometheus Academy graduates.





the Venturist®Prometheus video strategy program

The Self Learning Program is for individuals, small business owners, and members of corporations who are unable to participate in any of the Organization Learning programs but know they need and want to learn strategy.  The self-learning program largely depends on the initiative and perseverance of the participant.

the program 

This Venturist®Prometheus Online Video Strategy Course will help you become more successful by helping you learn how to develop and use strategy for your company, your projects, and your personal life. The program consists of 22 basic lessons presented in one or more ten to twenty-minute videos that explain the Prometheus Strategy Process. In addition, there are How To videos associated with each section that will help you with the mechanics of strategy building. You can watch these videos just to learn the process after which you can apply it on a daily basis, or you can develop actual strategy for yourself or your organization as you progress through the program.

course curriculum

(23 concept and 24 how-to videos)


See What Others Are Saying About the Prometheus Process

Walter Schindler, Chairman at Transformation, LLC, Prometheus Process Success Story (14:47)  FREE

Carl Barney, Chairman/CEO Of Center For Excellence In Higher Education Prometheus Success Story (5:19)  FREE

Michael Roberts, Past President, McDonalds USA Prometheus Success Story (9:39) FREE


online video course

Why Strategy–Learn about the bona fides of the program’s founder, John Warden, as he explains the importance of strategy, and shows how its presence transforms an organization. (5:50)  FREE

Prometheus Process Overview–The Venturist®Prometheus Strategy Process: Designed for those who want to think and act more strategically. It consists of four strategy Imperatives: Design the Future; Target for Success; Campaign to Win; and Finish with Finesse; four associated strategy questions: Where, What, How, and Exit; and a set of strategic principles—the Cardinal Rules. (10:29) FREE

 The Breakout Room For Strategy Development — How To Video: This Strategy Development Overview video reviews the general concepts of strategy and lays out the mechanics of taking a group of people through the strategy development process to include setting up and using breakout rooms and procedures for open planning. (15:50)   

Imperative I: Design the Future

The Future Picture–Part I: Value is in the future, not the past. The first substantive step in strategy is the creation of a “Future Picture”—a high resolution view of where you will be at the end of a strategy execution. This video introduces the concepts of planning from the future, connects the “Where?” question to the Future Picture and to the Future Picture Time Horizon, and highlights the perils of changing a Future Picture except as a result of seismic change. (8:59)

The Future Picture–Part II. In order to have high resolution, a good Future Picture must have manageable components. In the Prometheus Process, these are called Key Descriptors; the components of the Future Picture which facilitate creation of a genuinely high resolution view of the future to be created.

How To Videos 1. Strategic Context: It is very important that a group understands for what it is developing strategy. This video shows how to use the Strategic Context template to show a clear definition of the project and to determine the timeline for the project—the Future Picture Horizon. (10 minutes) 2. Breakout Room Setup: The Future Picture has twelve Key Descriptors which are best worked simultaneously. This video describes how to arrange the Key Descriptor templates to make it easy for a group to work on them all at the same time. (4 minutes) 3. Future Picture Desired Effects: Every strategy development exercise should have clearly stated and understood objectives and rules. This video specifically discusses Desired Effects for the Future Picture but the procedure is the same for all the other strategy development efforts. (4 minutes) 4. Future Picture Key Descriptors: This video describes how to use PostIt Notes (stickies) to capture ideas for a representative Key Descriptor and how to convert the stickies into Key Descriptor statements. (9 minutes) Downloadable Templates 1. Strategic Context 2. Desired Effects 3. Twelve Key Descriptors (42:39)

 Measures Of Merit: Good strategy must be measurable and must have strategic measures. In both strategy development and execution it important to understand and differentiate between tactical and strategic measures, and to avoid those measures which may create unwanted and dangerous strategic effects. (14 minutes) (14:10)

Measurement Process: If a desired action is not measured, it probably won’t happen and if it is measured incorrectly the measurement process was at best a waste of time. This lesson describes a methodology for measurement that applies across the Prometheus Process although its focus here is on measuring the Future Picture. It outlines a measurement format, discusses various kinds of measures and describes an approach to track multiple measures across an organization. (12 minutes)

How To Videos How to Build Strategic Measurements: This video describes how to create measures for Key Descriptors but is also applicable to all the instances in the Prometheus Process where measurement is needed. (17 minutes) Downloadable Templates Strategic Measurement Plan (29:02)

 Guiding Precepts: People can behave in a variety of ways enroute to realizing a Future Picture, but not all are desirable. Guiding Precepts establish in advance desired and prohibited behavior. If people know what is expected of them, they are far more likely to deliver. In the Prometheus Process, there are two types of Guiding Precepts: Prime Directives and Rules of Engagement. The former are transcendent and permanent while the latter are more situation-dependent.

 How To Video Guiding Precept Development: Reviews basic concept and shows how to develop the two different parts of the Guiding Precepts—Prime Directives and Rules of Engagement. Downloadable Templates Prime Directives and Rules of Engagement (25:25)

 Scope The Environment: To realize a Future Picture, it is necessary to deal with yourself (your own organization) and the external world. To deal with the external world, it is important to be aware of some of the major features of it. It is a world in which change is rapid and consequential, time is your enemy, predictions are dangerous, and disruption is a fact of life. (13:00)

How To Video–Scope the Environment Exercises: There are a variety of different Scope exercises an organization can use depending on its circumstances. This video describes a broadly applicable exercise to consider market trends, assess the group’s analysis of their validity and duration, and to determine how or if the group should deal with the trends from both an offensive and a defensive standpoint. (10 minutes) Downloadable Templates: Scope the Environment Trends Exercise (22:38)

 Cardinal Rules–Planning: The Cardinal Rules are a set of strategic principles that when followed in planning and execution significantly raise the probability of a successful outcome. Some are especially important to follow in the planning phase and others in the execution phase, although they all have universal applicability. Those that are especially useful for planning include: Think Like an Architect, Plan in the Open, Focus on the Future, Go to Rome, and Don’t Underestimate What It Takes to Win. (21:44)

Cardinal Rules–Execution: The Cardinal Rules that are especially important in execution include: Concentrate for Success, Defend all—Lose All, and Stay Out of the Balkans. (19 minutes) How To Video—Included in Cardinal Rules—Execution which may be used following either Cardinal Rules presentation and periodically through the strategy development period. Downloadable Templates: Cardinal Rules Assessment: Pre-Execution; Cardinal Rules Assessment: Periodic (18:56)

 Imperative I Quiz

Imperative II: Target for Success

 Systems: The second Imperative is “Target for Success.” To do so you must start with the relevant systems that must change if you are to achieve your Future Picture. There are always two systems—internal and external; to realize a Future Picture, both must change. Systems have a variety of characteristics and can be described by the Five Rings which provides a methodology to reduce complexity and find relevant centers of gravity (the leverage points) for system change. (13:49)

 Required System Effects:: External systems must change in very specific ways if they are going to play their role in realizing a Future Picture. External systems are divided into four components to simplify working with them: Scope; Excitement; Technology, and Socio-Political. By referring to your Future Picture, you can calculate exactly what each of these components must be at the Future Picture Horizon. (12:00)

 How To Videos (5). First video basic briefly reviews the concept of Required System Effects and introduces the methodology to work through its component parts and the remaining four video address the details of Scope, Excitement, Technology, and Socio Political respectively. Each section is about five minutes. Downloadable Templates Separate templates for each part of the Required System Effects exercise. (31:12)

 Centers of Gravity: Centers of Gravity, as explained in “Systems,” are the leverage points in a system that you affect in order to create the system change needed to realize a Future Picture. You find the relevant Centers of Gravity by using the Five Rings: Leadership, Processes, Infrastructure, Population, and Action Units (Fielded Forces). In most cases, you achieve more (a higher Return on Investment) by affecting Centers of Gravity in the inner Leadership and Process Rings than by applying the same amount of energy to the outer rings. (18:00)

How To Videos (5) Center of Gravity Room Layout: Describes how to arrange the templates in the breakout room to develop internal and external Centers of Gravity Center of Gravity Exercise Concepts: Illustrates the approach to finding and recording Centers of Gravity. External Centers of Gravity-IMD: Provides a detailed description of external Centers of Gravity in all five rings. Based on an actual exercise conducted by a real start-up company (with names and places suitably adjusted). Internal Centers of Gravity-IMD Provides a detailed description of internal Centers of Gravity in all five rings. Based on an actual exercise conducted by a real start-up company (with names and places suitably adjusted). Generic Centers of Gravity: Lists many of the Centers of Gravity an organization may encounter or should consider. Downloadable Templates Center of Gravity Group Worksheet (Five Ring System Map on which to record identified Centers of Gravity) Individual Templates for Each of the Five Rings (Leadership, Processes, Infrastructure, Population, and Action Units) (57:03)

 Impact Plans: Internal and external Centers of Gravity must change in specific ways to create required system change. The nature of that change is described in Impact Plans that tell what a Center of Gravity must become (its Desired Effect), Measures that will tell when the desired change has occurred, and a Timeframe to delineate when the Desired Effect must be effective. The contents of a strategic Impact Plan are heavily influenced by the ring in which the Center of Gravity under consideration is located. (14:00)

How To Videos Impact Plans Desired Effects: Lays out the desired effects for the Impact Plan exercises and describes the basic approach. Impact Planning: Details the procedures to develop good Impact Plans for Centers of Gravity. Downloadable Templates Strategic Impact Plan (Example 1) Shows how and how not to write Impact Plans. Strategic Impact Plan (Example 2) Shows how and how not to write Impact Plans. Strategic Impact Plan Template: Worksheet to develop Impact Plans. (37:05)

 Fractal Analysis: Some Centers of Gravity are so complex that it is not clear what to do to it to realize the Desired Effect of its Impact Plan. In these cases, fractal analysis is an invaluable tool as it provides a view into the internal workings of a Center of Gravity to help find the right things to affect. Fractal Analysis is possible because Centers of Gravity are fractal in that they have the same Five Ring patterns as the system from which they were derived. (13:37)

 Imperative II Quiz

Imperative III: Campaign to Win

Parallel Operation: In the Scope the Environment lesson, we learned that time is the enemy of enterprise and that success is most likely in the short term. In other words, short is good, long is bad. Parallel Operations is a methodology to compress actions against Centers of Gravity to create required internal and external system effects in short time spans. Parallel Operations increases probability of success while reducing cost and risk. This lesson introduces the Third Imperative—Campaign to Win. (16:17)

 Phases: The very best operations are those that affect all the relevant centers of gravity at the same time. Although this is theoretically possible and there are real-world examples, it will not be possible for all organizations. To stay as close as possible, however, to true parallel action organizations should phase their operations. Phased operations to do not provide the same probability of success as true parallel operations but they are dramatically better than the standard for most organizations—serial operations. (16:40)

How To Videos Phase Planning: Describes how to develop the phases of an operation to compensate for the inability to do a single massively parallel operation. Downloadable Templates Master Effect Planning Set: Includes instructions and working templates. (34:18)

 Forward Look: Despite lacking reliable crystal balls, we need as much insight into the future as possible. A good approach is to think of the events that might take place in the external world that would create problems if they were to occur. Once events are identified, we assess their impact if they were to occur, their probability of occurrence, and the times when they might take place. We can then start working on mitigation or preemption plans to deal with the most problematic of the events. (14:48)

How To Video Forward Look Exercise: Describes how to come up with events that might occur in different segments of your external and internal systems, how to rate these events in terms of their impact and probability of occurrence, and how to estimate when they might happen. With this done, we can get an idea of possible high danger areas and can begin mitigation and preemption planning. Downloadable Templates Forward Look Set which includes Instructions, Magnitude Calibration Chart, External and Internal Event Templates with Magnitude and Probability Scales, and External and Internal Time of Occurrence Templates with Impact Score and Time Scales (29:12)

 Campaign Orchestration: Campaigns are the vehicle for strategically aligned parallel operations against Centers of Gravity. Critical to their success is organization leadership and clearing the decks for campaign activities. In addition to moving an organization toward its Future Picture, campaigns also align individuals and disciplines across an organization. (16:17)

 Campaign Processes: One of the major tasks of campaigns is to develop and execute Action Plans to move Centers of Gravity to the states described in their Impact Plans in the timeframes specified. There are many possible actions to affect a Center of Gravity but only some will have the right strategic effect; thus, it is imperative that campaign participants have a thorough understanding of the organization’s strategy so they can devise smart actions in support of it. Open Planning and communication continue to be of the utmost importance. (18:12)

 Organization: The Prometheus Process prescribes a way of thinking and operating that are likely to be new for an organization whether the organization itself is new or has been in business for many years. In both cases, it behooves an organization to structure itself in such a way as to make application of the Prometheus Process as seamless and efficient as possible. Without careful thought to creating the right structure, the organization is likely to find itself dealing with obstacles that need not exist. (21:37)

 Imperative III Quiz

Imperative IV: Finish With Finesse

Exit Planning: One of the most difficult endeavors for individuals and organizations alike is to plan for and manage situations that demand (or force) a major change in strategic direction. These forcing situations include success (imminent realization of a Future Picture), major environmental changes (new technologies, economic turmoil), and imminent or pending failure (employed strategy did not provide intended results).The problem is vexing and difficult in large part because of the emotional attachment to the current plan. The best way to deal with this problem and these situations is through exit planning that is done well in advance (ideally early in the strategy planning process) of the precipitating events. (19:00)

How to Video Exit Planning: Details the steps for developing Exit Points and Exit Plans (47:47)

Red Teaming: Individuals and organizations make mistakes during planning: wrong information, bad logic, and groupthink are common. Although planning error can be reduced significantly, it is close to impossible to eliminate it entirely, thus the need for Red Teaming. Red Teaming is the process of doing an intense review of a strategy (or any plan) before putting it into execution. Its purpose is to find and fix mistakes before they become costly or worse. Don’t bypass this step! (17:00)

 Imperative IV Quiz