The Future of Strategy: A Transformative Approach to Strategy for a World That Won't Stand Still
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Own the Future of Your Industry with a Transformational Strategy Designed for Today's Business World
Leaders today are inundated with strategic opportunities, besieged by business disruptions, and pressured to innovate--to do things better, faster, or differently. The CEO of a Fortune 500 firm explains it best: "I am looking at 23 different strategic initiatives. Trying to develop and implement so many strategies is like trying to change the driver, tires, the oil, and the bumpers; paint the body; and tune the engine. And doing all of this on a car that's running at full speed."
The answer used to be found in strategy. But in the past decade, the commonly deployed large-scale strategic exercises were largely discredited. They were slow and elaborate and did not deliver the expected returns, let alone help make sense of a glut of initiatives or cope with an increasingly unpredictable future.
The Future of Strategy brings strategy back from those big top-down plans. It answers the questions of executives facing tumultuous business conditions and rapidly shifting markets: Is strategy still possible? Yes. Aren't strategies outdated before they can be implemented? Not if they are done right. Rather than developing strategy, aren't we better off being agile and able to capitalize on emerging trends faster than our peers? Agility complements strategy; it cannot replace it.
This book is about reversing course and repositioning strategy in its rightful place as the overarching management system. The authors introduce their core methodology, designed to future proof companies against the friction and "fog of war" that inexorably accompany changing times. They synthesize three fundamental principles that, when combined, provide the means to reclaim strategy:
- Take direct cues from fundamental trends affecting the company going forward
- Engage people across the company to translate these cues into strategy and effectively eliminate the handover hurdle between formulation and execution, a major reason for strategy failure
- Capture the output as competitive opportunities and manage their life cycles--when some have run their course, others are ready to take over
Strategy today requires stepping over the shadows of one's own ingrained beliefs to capture new opportunities. This book reveals the inner workings of transformational strategies developed by leaders who gradually become more successful by advancing winning combinations of attitudes, values, habits, and practices.
organizational inclusiveness is not suitable for every strategic challenge. There will always be situations that require traditional top-down strategy development—for example, those that demand confidentiality, such as M&A strategies and due diligence efforts, and turnaround and restructuring situations in which tough decisions must be made about the workforce. Instill Trust, Be Sincere The foundation of organizational inclusiveness is creating trust and mutual understanding. Trust must
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efforts as part of new initiatives. C-Bank now had a portfolio of competitive opportunities that had been described and detailed as thoroughly as possible to guide the organization. Setting Things in Motion: Initiate The goal of the Initiate stage is to ensure that all initiatives, from minimal housekeeping to the highly strategic, are aimed at the same competitive opportunities and optimally reinforce each other. To ensure action, competitive opportunities must be linked to appropriate
business opportunities. Things become more complicated when the belief system needs a major overhaul. This leads to the circular challenge of changing an organization’s ingrained beliefs in order to create the successes necessary to change those beliefs. This is one reason why game changes and disruptions are often brought about by startups—organizations that are built from scratch around a promising belief system, with little downside if the new system doesn’t work out. Driving
forced to adapt to a new and much less attractive market reality forced companies to think and act in the here and now at the expense of increasing their advantage in the future and even relative to customers and competitors. Similarly, the past decade has made it abundantly clear that a socially and environmentally conscious way of doing business has become the new norm. For many companies, this has meant profound changes in the way they operate—so much so that the distinction between efforts to