Strategy is often inhibited by fallacies in thinking. One of the greatest of these is the either/or fallacy. This informs the mindset that when presented with two apparent options, one must choose one or the other and that they are mutually exclusive.
The problem with this kind of thinking – while this may be useful for particular commitments – is that it does not allow for the divergent or even integrated options one may develop.
Strategic work in organisations needs to recognise the changing business landscape caused by the interaction between our environment, developing technologies, social changes and personal and demographic aspirations in both established (recovering) and developing economies. Therefore, strategy needs to be iterative – for some organisations almost on a daily basis. For individuals and businesses, strategy needs to help us to adapt and decide the play of the day. This strategy will continue to morph through the outcomes of those daily plays and events.
Here are 4 examples I have close knowledge of from my consulting work. These examples range from smaller to very large-scale enterprises, with sometimes difficult lessons to be learned.
The Strategy Retreat is a favoured exercise amongst the C-Suite and many organisations. It’s not a ‘Strategic Retreat’, mind you (although sometimes one wonders), but an opportunity to focus on the strategy of the firm and develop concrete goals, discuss
I’ve worked with many CEOs and senior executives who are either refugees from or rebels against government processes. These smart people shudder at the thought of ‘Strategic Planning’ and beat a hasty retreat from anything smacking of the strategic ‘planning’ process, knowing that it will be an endless course in document production, micro-managing and copious prognostication based on significant assumptions.
Is strategy actually relevant and practicable in the contemporary, 2-years used-by date, technological environment? I have worked with numerous organisations and executive leaders to develop their strategic thinking. There are many fallacies I in their thinking and inhibitions developed through their traditional MBA and business school approaches to strategy. Effectively, their strategy is either neutered or non-existent.
There are two extremes of business strategy thinking:
1. One must plan strategy in 1, 5, 10, 20 or even 40 year plans and build on those with certainty.
2. Strategy is impossible in our fast-moving economies. One must simply be nimble and highly responsive to market forces.
Either of these positions is a ridiculous extreme.
(This post is the first in a revised and updated version of a series on strategy that I published some time ago. It’s just as relevant as ever.) Strategy – what a wonderful word. Unfortunately, it gets all too bogged
At 1.95 m, he was supposedly too tall to race the 100m. The sports science showed it was all wrong. Even the 200m was a stretch. But in less than 10 seconds, Usain Bolt proved the experts wrong again and won the
Here’s a great article at ForeignPolicy.com demonstrating how the Ancient Greek Olympics suffered from corruption, doping scandals, internecine conflict and unhygienic competitors. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Peter McLean. theleadershiplamplight.com
The latest Pokémon craze should get us all concerned about performance I‘ve seen them and you’ve probably already seen them if you live in the US, Australia or NZ – gangs of youths (and adults) who would otherwise be happily and
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