Archivio tag per: strategy process

Why strategy needs more experimentation*

Reading time: 6 minutes

28 Apr
Foto del profilo di David Bardolet

by David Bardolet

SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

In a recent article, David Collis makes an interesting attempt at combining the two old and seemingly-opposed views of the strategic process: the top-down analytical approach that implements a plan carefully chosen by the top management of the firm and a bottom-up emergent approach that shifts gears continuously in reaction to what managers on the ground are experiencing. His conclusion is that start-up companies might benefit from using the traditional analytical process to set an initial vision and strategic direction that later can be refined and adjusted by using typically emergent Lean Start-up tools. All in all, a worthwhile point for entrepreneurs to consider.

What Collis does not address though is how the deliberate and emergent approaches can also be combined within the strategic process of more mature and established companies. The majority of those firms are very adept at strategic planning but notoriously clueless at managing emergent strategy. In a way, the increasing interest in corporate entrepreneurship might be seen as another chapter in the periodic realization that mature firms do not know how to innovate their business models and products within the rigid frames of their planning process. So how can those firms become more open to emerging internal entrepreneurship?

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SWOT Analysis: Such a Waste Of Time?

03 Feb
Foto del profilo di Markus Venzin

by Markus Venzin

SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

In a strategy process, the current situation is often depicted as a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. A SWOT analysis is not much more than a simple listing of the factors falling under the four categories. It highlights the interaction among the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats in the marketplace. Strengths and weaknesses are judged by comparing the company’s own resources and capabilities with those of (potential) competitors. Opportunities and threats are determined through market analysis.

Surveys have revealed that the SWOT analysis ranks very high in the list of the most often used management tools. Maybe because the methodology is apparently simple to understand and to use. In a brainstorming session, it is relatively easy to come up with a list of internal and external factors that potentially shape the future of the firm.
However, I have seen too many flawed SWOT analysis’ in my professional life. The purpose of the article is therefore to discuss the most common mistakes made while using the tool and to contribute to a more sophisticated application of the SWOT methodology.

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