By Ian Wilson
Strategy- and the planning that created it- has too often failed to deliver its promised results. The reasons for this failure are many and varied, but include an over-reliance on the next big thing in strategic methodology, a failure to recognize and deal with the total change that strategy requires in an organization, and an inability to deal with uncertainty. Wilson argues that strategy is a subtle and demanding art, far more than it is a science or a methodology.
• To succeed in dealing with complex, interacting forces inside and outside the organization, strategy must:
• Deal with the totality of the organization in the context of its total environment (not just one function or one facet of the organization)
• Learn to harness the power of opposites (the sometimes conflicting objectives of the organization, e.g., the long term and short term; vision and execution; economic constraints and social responsibility)
• Deal constructively with pervasive uncertainty in its future
• Develop a strategic vision
• Create a culture that fosters a strategic mindset throughout the organization.
Without constant change and adaptation, a strategy will fail. Continuing success depends, therefore, upon constant learning from customers, competitors, changes in our environment, and our own mistakes.