- Research Feature
- Read Time: 22 min
The goal of a strategic planning process should not be to make strategy but to build prepared minds that are capable of making sound strategic decisions.
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The external environment dictates to a great degree whether competition or cooperation is the preferred road.
Using the metaphor of improvisational theater, the author lays out six elements of strategic improvisation that executives can apply to transform their organizations into experimental arenas. Companies that engage in such continual improvisation are better equipped to explore highly threatening disruptive technologies and embrace radical change.
Some of the greatest failings of strategic management, the authors say, occur when managers take one point of view too seriously. Ideas and practices that originate from collaborative contacts between organizations, from competition and confrontation, from recasting of the old, and from the sheer creativity of managers are driving the evolution of strategic management today.
On the basis of research into 100 enterprises, the authors developed a helpful strategic tool, the Delta Model. Companies using the framework define strategic positions that reflect new sources of profitability, align the strategic options with their activities, and establish processes that adapt well to change. The researchers outline practical mechanisms for obtaining feedback from the adaptive processes, and they offer critical metrics to track performance.
While outsourcing might be attractive for some parts of a value center, it is not a substitute for crafting a strategy to leverage IT resources for business success. An effective strategy framework recognizes four interdependent sources of value from IT resources and the approaches for managing each source.
How can companies combat the overconfidence and tunnel vision common to so much decision making? By first identifying basic trends and uncertainties and then using them to construct a variety of future scenarios. The author shows how two major companies got a richer picture of the possible future through scenarios — and dramatically improved their strategic planning.
When someone asks, "What is your bottom line?" few negotiators tell the truth. But how much bluffing is ok? Business negotiations law is infused with ethical considerations. Author G. Richard Shell outlines the basic elements of legal fraud, illustrating the evolving concepts with numerous cases in which negotiators have been penalized for what some consider merely unethical behavior. "An ethical sensibility, far from being a 'luxury' in business negotiations, may be a negotiator's best counselor," Shell writes.
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