Making Your Strategy More Relevant

I put a comment on the blog on strategy (saying in essence that it should be consumer driven) by the Harvard Business Review, and Bill Seidman, who is one of the professors at Harvard teaching strategy was kind enough to offer a comment, based on some research he’s done:
“Very interesting post. Our work in helping companies improve performance assumes that companies have a coherent, forcused strategy that just requires implementation. After all, having a clear strategy is business school and executive 101. This is basic stuff.
Yet, it is startling how few companies actually have a solid, tight strategic focus. It is so rare that we invested some resources in trying to analyze why so many companies either don’t have a strategy at all or have many incredibly fragmented ‘strategies’. We asked: “Why would executives want to have this situation?”
Our conclusions were’t pretty. First we realized that, particularly during the recession, having a strategy created accountability and many executives were avoiding accountability. Instead, as has recently been published in the Wall Stree Journal, most companies simply hoarded cash. Have a fuzzy strategy or multiple small fragmented strategies is safer for the executive that committing to a significant strategic direction that might have risks. The absence of strategy seemed to promote executive employment security.
The second thing that emerged from this analysis was that executives were very cynical about their ability to actually make the designed changes. Most of them had tried to drive strategies in general and a host of specific performance improvement initiatives, with little success. Changes were slow, incomplete and filled with conflct. Much of their perspective is justified. Traditional means of impleenting strategies generally haven’t worked very well.
Put together, the risks of having a strategy are high and the likelihood of success is low, so an executive is smart to not emphasize strategy and development and implementation.
However, at least in the area of having predictable, fast complete performance improvements in organizations, recent scientific breakthroughs are changing executive cost benefit calculation. Because of research in positive dediance, neuroscience and a few related areas, performance improvements can be driven at much lower cost and with greater predictability. This is drastically owering the risks associated with committing to a strategy. Executives may still want to avoid committing to a strategy for personal reasons.but the new science gives them power to lead change that is better, more effective that ever before.”

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3 Responses to Making Your Strategy More Relevant

  1. car says:

    Very interesting info !Perfect just what I was searching for!

  2. Gil Joyne says:

    I’ve gone ahead and included a hyperlink back to your site from one of my clients requesting it. We have used your website URL: and blog title: Making Your Strategy More Relevant | Entrepreneurial News to ensure you get the proper anchor text. If you woud like to check out where your hyperlink has been placed, please e-mail me at: Thanks!

  3. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and internet and this is really annoying. A good site with interesting content, that is what I need. Thank you for keeping this site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

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