Strategy is no longer a head office function in most companies. Strategy is distributed. Sustainable competitive advantage arises from:
- Differences between enterprises, not similarities, which arise from a 'benchmarking' approach
- Dynamic approaches to strategy, rather than static use of models, which tell you 'what happened', rather like driving a car using the rear view mirror. Planning is essential but so is the ability to respond to opportunity. It's a balance between planning, agility, improvisation and responsiveness
- Leveraging your enterprise's tacit knowledge, skills and processes, which may not be easily copied or appropriated. If it cannot be written down but it gives you the edge, we are talking about tacit know-how
- Continuously sensing weak signals of change in the business environment, so that your company may head the competition off by staying at least one step ahead. This is called disruptive strategy in some circles
Human Dynamics help in the following areas:
- Strategic Reconnaissance - Forecasting volatile, uncertain complex and ambiguous (VUCA) futures
- Strategic Analysis - Helping you gain a coherent vision of your unique place in the business landscape
- Strategic Options - Formulating hard to beat options to secure a resilient and responsive position
- Strategic Execution - Helping you turn ideas into reality and becoming a true learning company
Case Study: 'This market ain't big enough for the both of us'
SituationOur client is a multinational company, concerned about possible competition changes due to merger and acquisition that threatened to erode or destroy their market share in a key product area.
The client requirementTo 'head the competition off before they reach the pass'.
What we didWe undertook a scenario planning exercise to help the executive team unravel the complexity. This delivered the following benefits:
- Rehearsal of a number of probable futures before they have happened
- Identification of early warning signs so that the company could spot changes before they damaged their market position
- Involvement of people who were in a position to spot these early warning signs so the company was able to respond rapidly to change
ImpactField sales staff were alerted to the signals as part of the consultancy exercise, which subsequently appeared. As a result the company took preventative marketing actions up to 12 months before the competitor activity would have been picked up conventionally. This had an impact on bottom-line results that was measured in £ millions.
A subsequent exercise was undertaken four years later, to pre-empt disruptive changes in the market as new sources of competition present themselves. This has produced similar impact.