Strategic planning is no longer a head office function in most companies. Strategy is the responsibility of everyone. Sustainable competitive advantage arises from:
- Differences between firms, 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.
- Leveraging a firm's tacit knowledge and processes, which may not be easily copied or appropriated.
- Continuously sensing weak signals of change in the business environment, so that your company may head the competition off by staying one step ahead.
Human Dynamics can help in the following areas:
- Forecasting and analysing uncertain and complex futures through scenario planning, war gaming and other future search methods
- Formulating a potent vision of the future and helping you communicate that vision so that it captures minds, bodies and souls
- Developing your organisation’s capability and capacity to think and act strategically
- Analysing your current strategic capabilities and helping you build on these
- Formulating innovative strategic options to build or maintain / enhance a competitive edge
- Implementing the strategic plan through project management and detailed execution
- Becoming a true learning organisation so that strategy becomes part of 'business as usual'
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 could respond rapidly to change
The resultField sales staff were alerted to the signals as part of the consultancy exercise, which subsequently appeared. As a result the company were able to take preventative marketing actions up to 12 months before the competitor activity would have been picked up conventionally, with an impact on bottom-line results that could be measured in millions.
A subsequent exercise has been undertaken four years later, to pre-empt disruptive changes in the market as new sources of competition present themselves. This has produced similar benefits.