Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Monthly Strategy Highlight: Hot Debates in Strategy Management Apr.2016

The strategy is the light to guide you ahead, not the hand to walk you through.

The strategy is the focal point of the “Future of CIO,” and the pillar of organizational existence, its design, structure, functions, vision, and mission. A real strategy is neither a document nor a forecast but rather an overall approach based on a diagnosis of a challenge. It brings up new functions, roles, and responsibilities, collaboration, demand for intuition and emergence, complementarities, philosophy, neutron sciences, and trans-disciplinary businesses. But these are not new per se. The frameworks of thoughts, consciousness and maturity assessments apply to strategy, then, now and in the future. Here is the monthly strategy highlight of the “Future of CIO.”

Hot Debates in Strategy Management  Apr. 2016

  • What’s the Weakest Link in Strategy Execution: A good strategy is beyond the well-designed template filled out with goal and vision, it should be more subject to challenges we face and provides an approach to overcome them, it’s executable. However, Complexity, uncertainty, disruptive changes, and interdependence are the new normal facing business today, more than two-thirds of strategy implementation fail to achieve the expected result. What’s the weakest link in strategy execution? And how to improve the effectiveness of strategy implementation?

  • Culture vs. Strategy: Which Comes First? The strategy is like the business roadmap to leverage the company's resources and achieve its vision; and culture is the collective mindset, attitude, and behaviors of the group of people and it's about how people think and do things here. Many of us like Drucker's witty quote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” A strong culture can lift up a mediocre strategy, but a weak or negative culture will screw a superior strategy. So culture vs. strategy: which comes first? And what are the interwoven relationship between them?

  • What is Opposite of Strategy?  What is a "great" strategy? Is it one that helps the organization get a step closer to its vision? Maintaining its core purpose, but gaining competitive advantage in the market? Better ensuring the long-term sustainability of the business? Ensuring all key/strategic stakeholders expectations are balanced and met? And based on these criteria, what are opposites of strategy, though?

  • Is Strategy Art or Science? "Leadership is much more about doing the right thing than doing things right." (Drucker) Spending time thinking and acting strategically is one of the right things to do, yet many senior executives spend less than 5% of their time stepping back from the day-to-day grind of the business to think longer-term. They feel comfortable with an annual budget, but get increasingly uncomfortable beyond that point. And even fewer begin with the end in mind. Is strategy an art or science, how do leaders leverage strategic thinking in their daily work?

  • How to Strike the Right Balance between “Keeping the Lights on” and Growing your Business? Due to the limited budget and resource, most of the organizations, especially those legacy companies always struggle with keeping the lights on and changing or transforming their business. Is “running a business” always your first priority,  when is strategic execution more important than keeping the lights on? Optimally, how to strike the right balance between “keeping the light on" and growing your business?

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