Making Sense of Strategy

Making Sense of Strategy

Making sense of strategy: Explore this insight post from Boston Consulting’s Martin Reeves at HBR: Does Your Strategy Match Your Competitive Environment?

Organizations don’t perceive their position correctly against the competitive landscape. Key insight is here:

These distinctions are so important because the four different strategic environments require four different styles of strategy execution. For companies operating in predictable and immutable environments, a classical strategy — the one everyone learned in business school — works well. When immutable environments are unpredictable, adaptive, experimental strategies work far better. Predictable environments that you have the power to change call for visionary strategies (the entrepreneurial if-we-build-it-they-will-come approach). And shaping strategies are best for unpredictable environments you have the power to control, as many Internet players do.

The post also includes a good graphical representation of the team’s findings.

I think the root of the problem is that companies spend too much time on execution, and not enough time in strategic dialog. They see strategy as yet another thing to get done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Ongoing, drawn-out reflections aren’t productive. I agree, they probably aren’t “productive” in the traditional sense, but they are essential. Uncertainty isn’t going anywhere. Strategy needs to be about navigation, not just about picking a destination.


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Daniel W. Rasmus

Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.

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