img_0567I want to propose: the putting into action of a choice from many options about how to achieve the best possible outcome with the resources available given the current and near-term context

-the putting into action

-of a choice

-from many options

-about how to achieve the best possible outcome
-with the resources available
-given the current and near-term context
Strategy current paradigm:
-top team of the company sets this direction (they know best, have the best overview, at the least the sanctioned decision authority to commit organizational resources
-reduce the unknown by good analysis
-risk test the strategy for some scenarios of the unknown
Challenges:
-the history of strategy as outlined in Lords of strategy is a history of reducing the unknown within the organizational boundaries. Most strikingly the thing companies knew least about in the 1960s-1980s were their costs. Knowing their cost structure and running down the cost curve through gaining market share etc. was seen as the way to gain
-the next unknown chipped away was external, the competition. Organizations got smarter about what their competitor was doing and strategy became about competitive positioning
-the next unknown to be explored was the customer. This is still going on, especially since social media and digitalization has for a decade increased the information on customers and allowed for more granular marketing
The next wave if strategy:
-I propose that there are other unknowns organizations have so far not explored seriously. These include: people, the nature of the unknown itself
-on people: if strategy is making the most out of your resources then not knowing your people is a huge limitation.
A) Most companies manage only strategically certain pockets of talent, next generation, successors and top performers. That leaves 90% of the organization in the unknown. It also has an unquestioned assumption: that managing human resources is to be done on the level of the individual. However the potential of each individual flourishes in its social context, and for organizations this means in the departments, teams, committees that each individual is part of. However no company manages human resources at the level of teams.
B) how can you make strategy without knowing what your people in Turkey, Nigeria, etc are capable of (if only you let them?)
-the nature of the unknown: the idea to treat the unknown in the meaning of the word as something that doesn’t contain useful information and focus on increasing the known bits is limiting. We should go about specifying what we don’t know and build strategies that are able to take advantage of the unknown. What seems unknown is unknown often to only a group of people, here importantly top management. But perhaps the team in Turkey sees the same area as a clear known. So how can we make strategies that take advantage of the dispersed insights throughout an organization?