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Managing out of Recession
Managing out of Recession

"What’s the next new thing in strategy?”


This question was recently posed by a senior executive to Phil Rosenzweig, a professor at IMD in Switzerland.

His response was surprising for someone whose career is devoted to advancing the state of the art of strategy: 

“With all respect, I think that’s the wrong question. There’s always new stuff out there, and most of it’s not very good. Rather than looking for the next musing, it’s probably better to be thorough about what we know is true and make sure we do that well.”

Let’s face it: the basic principles that make for good strategy often get obscured. Sometimes the explanation is a quest for the next new thing—natural in a field that emerged through the steady accumulation of frameworks promising to unlock the secret of competitive advantage.

In other cases, the culprit is torrents of data, reams of analysis, and piles of documents that can be more distracting than enlightening. 

Ultimately, strategy is a way of thinking, not a procedural exercise or a set of frameworks. To stimulate that thinking and the dialogue that goes along with it, we developed a set of tests aimed at helping executives assess the strength of their strategies. We focused on testing the strategy itself (in other words, the output of the strategy-development process), rather than the frameworks, tools, and approaches that generate strategies, for two reasons
  1. Companies develop strategy in many different ways, often idiosyncratic to their organisations, people, and markets
  2. Many strategies emerge over time rather than from a process of deliberate formulation.

12/03/2011
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