However, in an age of constant turbulence and disruption, strategy become more central and critical as companies need to reconsider their direction every few years as well as constantly adjusting to changing contexts, writes John Kotter, author and professor of leadership at Harvard.
“...the whole notion of “strategy”—a word that is now used loosely to cover sporadic planning around what businesses to be in and important policies concerning how to compete in those businesses—has to evolve,” Kotter writes in the last edition of Harvard Business Review.
“Strategy should be viewed as a dynamic force that constantly seeks opportunities, identifies initiatives that will capitalize on them, and completes those initiatives swiftly and efficiently. I think of that force as an ongoing process of “searching, doing, learning, and modifying.”
What is interesting about the article is that Kotter argues convincingly that the traditional hierarchical structure of companies, designed to optimize daily operations and efficiencies, do not facilitate agile and adaptive strategies.
“The existing structures and processes that together form an organization’s operating system need an additional element to address the challenges produced by mounting complexity and rapid change. The solution is a second operating system, devoted to the design and implementation of strategy, that uses an agile, networklike structure and a very different set of processes.”
“The new operating system continually assesses the business, the industry, and the organization, and reacts with greater agility, speed, and creativity than the existing one. It complements rather than overburdens the traditional hierarchy, thus freeing the latter to do what it’s optimized to do. It actually makes enterprises easier to run and accelerates strategic change.”
By doing so, business leaders are better positioned to face the greatest challenge today: how to stay competitive amid constant turbulence and disruption