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To develop a competitive strategy is to define a broad formula that will define how and where business will compete. Success of this formula will depend on the ingenuity and creativity of matchmaking between company's internal competences with market opportunities, but as well on the preciseness and discipline of the formula implementation. It is through this formulation and execution that companies envision and make steps towards a desired future state. Strategy, as an open ended future determined by strategic action, stands in contrast to a fixed, inevitable future we call destiny.
In large and established companies, Strategy takes form of strategy making - a complex process which involves strategic thinking and action of key actors throughout the company. It involves planning of the use of resources and the deployment of capabilities which are needed to achieve the objective and win over competition. Successful organisations have a healthy balance between thinking, planning and doing.
So, how and where does Digital come into play with Strategy making process, what is it's potential impact if any? What should Strategists take into account and should they treat it differently than any other element? How should they manage for it? Answer to that question lies in the discussion of the interplay of Strategic Thinking, Strategic Planning and Strategic Management.
Source : Strategic Thinking : A Discussion Paper, E.Lawrence.
To craft successful strategies Strategic Management needs to balance the contrast between these both required yet individually insufficent elements of Strategy making
As Strategy Planning most often takes an already agreed upon strategic direction and is concerned with (just) programming and configuration of the organisation's resources to realise the agreed direction, biggest jeopardy and critique is embedded within itself. Namely, by being too much focused on analysis and extrapolation of past and today's reality, strategic planning tends to create the illusion of certainty in a world where certainty is anything but guaranteed. This is especially true in an increasingly Digital environment or environment permeated with digital technology with perpetual change and disruption potential. For successful competitive strategies the disruptive effect of the unpredictable nature of digital technology evolution needs to be accounted across all phases of Strategy making (and execution) - Strategic Thinking, Planning and Execution.
For successful competitive strategies the disruptive effect of the unpredictable nature of digital technology evolution needs to be accounted across all phases of Strategy making (and execution) - Strategic Thinking, Planning and Execution.
This means that Digital should be considered as Strategic Uncertainty and managed as such in practice by accounting for it's continuously changing character. When operationalising strategies this means that for example your IT infrastructure should today, account for flexibility and change of tomorrow and not for permanence. Same goes for your Budgets, but also Brands.