Is your strategic thinking influenced by obsolete beliefs? This is probably not the first question that comes to mind in the context of strategic planning. However – that may be a mistake: Each strategic analysis makes some assumptions about elements involved – market structures, customer expectations, competitors’ moves, technological trends, and many more. These assumptions are implicitly based on our beliefs about their nature. It is not a new discovery that we live in an ever faster changing world. What if the world had changed and the beliefs on which we ground our strategy have just become obsolete? Continue Reading →
Smile a lot: “People want to work with people they like, people who are happy. You ‘ll be dealing with a lot oh hard issues, and they ‘ll come across better if you have a smile on your face.” (Quote by Melody Hobson, president of Ariel Investment, on the best advice she’s ever received.)
In the executive summary it says Knowledge work consists of non-routine, complex tasks which involve the use of large quantities of (often incomplete or ambiguous) information, both as inputs and outputs of work processes. Thus, knowledge workers need tools that add value and context to information as they work with it. These tools should reduce complexity through aggregation, organize information through categorization, and make options for action systematically visible. Continue Reading →
Not to have a strategy is an oxymoron. Of course, there are businesses that seem to have no strategy at all. Some even have declared that they will operate without one. But do these businesses really have no strategy? The answer probably depends on what you define as strategy. One way or the other, each and every business once had taken the decisions to do business a particular way. This actually is the strategy, intended or not. Continue Reading →
The abstract for this paper says: This report discusses the contemporary relevance of Japanese management practices to managers, policymakers and academic researchers. In the 1980s, a period marked by strong performance of the Japanese economy and the emergence onto the global stage of a number of leading Japanese corporations, managers and management academics in the UK and other Western countries studied Japanese management with great interest.
There was widespread recognition of the efficiency and competitive advantage afforded by certain management practices and several features of the ‘Japanese model’ were adopted by companies in the UK, continental Europe and North America. However, two decades of weak economic growth have undermined this belief that Japanese management can serve as a role-model for Western firms.Continue Reading →
In the field of strategy a lot of research and analysis has been undertaken in the last couple of years. Having this in mind I was looking for some research results which would indicate whether “things” have improved. Strategic planning and strategy execution were difficult issues in the past (I will write a separate blog post regarding this in the future). Unfortunately 2014’s status indicates that the problems and barriers are the same than a couple of years ago.
Today I found the following – very interesting – research results regarding the connection between strategy and time allocations of leaders: “There’s no question that executives and leaders are busier than ever. But are they spending their valuable time on what matters most, the things that advance their companies’ performance and competitive standing?
According to a definition, a strategic plan is a plan (=a detailed proposal for achieving or doing something) that provides argument and the data in support of a strategy (= long term direction of an organization) for the entire organization. A plan should clearly explain what the organization wants to accomplish in the coming years. These definitions sound very logic; hence we have to raise the question why some plans can be described as “bad / poor” plans which “need” to fail. Or to be more specific, what are the conditions that allow bad plans to exist?
There will be lot answers; however I would like to quote a participant from my seminars in a company workshop who presented me the following funny answer (it was a one-page text) in the training break: