Magazine article Management Today

Strategy Is Only for Experts: Alastair Dryburgh

Magazine article Management Today

Strategy Is Only for Experts: Alastair Dryburgh

Article excerpt

'Strategy' continues to be a popular theme for authors, academics and consultants.

The Strategic Planning Society is holding a conference aimed at establishing strategy as a profession along the lines of law, medicine, accountancy and the like. The fact is, however, from the point of view of a practising manager, there hasn't been much new or of great value said or written about the subject for years. The key to effective strategy isn't more or better ideas, concepts or frameworks, but developing the ability to use what you already have.

Consider Kodak, which went bankrupt in January. It is no great surprise that its film business was destroyed by the growth of digital photography. What is surprising is that Kodak, which invented the digital camera, declined to develop it for fear of damaging its chemical film business. You don't need the benefit of hindsight to see this was a bad decision. Digital photography was the classic disruptive innovation.

Kodak didn't need better strategic thinking. It needed better ways of seeing the obvious but unpalatable, and doing the simple but uncomfortable.

Most strategy is like this - that is to say, simpler than the consultants and academics would have you believe. …

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