Revitalize your strategy

N°230b – Synopsis (8p.) – Strategy Development
Revitalize your strategy
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To stay afloat facing accelerating competitive shifts, businesses must regularly regenerate their strategies. But how can they reinvent themselves while so many forces support organizational continuity?

Where did Tiffany, originally a stationery specialist, get the idea to become a jeweler? What drove Dannon to modify its vision by shifting the emphasis from the taste of food to health, and consequently sell off its subsidiaries specialized on beer, cookies and sauces to concentrate on baby food, yogurt and other dietetic product lines?

The visionary abilities of the leaders behind these transformations are often emphasized. Could Apple have managed to reinvent itself continuously without Steve Jobs? Amazon without Jeff Bezos? Yet, behind these charismatic personalities, the experts underline the real teamwork underlying the majority of successful strategic reinventions. Indeed, much more than the idea of a single individual, these strategies are often the result of ardent collective efforts. It is a question of leading teams through several phases, in which the status quo is challenged as a viable solution for the future, many alternative strategic scenarios are proposed, and then the most promising is selected. Nothing revolutionary in itself. Indeed, many companies have developed strategic planning processes to drive this dynamic.

But the problem observed by the experts is that, very often, the strategic scenarios devised are essentially found along the continuum of what already exists, barring the way to truly innovative solutions required by environmental transformations. These scenarios remain prisoner to convictions which the leaders have forged over time concerning key success factors, constraints and competitive rules of the sector, even as these facts are increasingly likely to be challenged.

To avoid the risk of inertia when faced with markets in transformation, the first step is hence to institute a substantive debate on the convictions that define how the strategic options available to the company are perceived. By becoming aware of the blinders that have stifled thinking, companies can imagine more innovative possible futures and optimize the chances of seizing breakthrough opportunities.

In this synopsis:
- Cultivate strategic doubt
- Stimulate rich, high-quality strategic thinking
- Some exercises for strategic creativity

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