Strategy is dead, long live strategy!

Developing a strategy ensures the company’s long term success. Not addressing it means behaving negligently. But to date developing a «textbook example» strategy has been a complex, protracted and expensive exercise for companies.

Many unnecessary files are filled with analyses, calculations and research tasks are assigned with the aim of increasing stability. Another way to go is not to do anything, why should you, when you are successful? Now that has a sense of stability too.

Stability – in troubled times? Nowadays that seems like wanting to be able to see the future. With the exception of the astrologer Madame Etoile no-one will seriously want to claim to be able to do that. Divination – this is exactly not what strategy is about.

The art of strategic management does not lie in fortune-telling but on being prepared for it and when possible shaping it to a certain degree.

It is not enough to extrapolate the past and apply numbers in a straight line to be able to shape the future, simply multiplying the turnover by factor X each year. On the contrary, such behaviour is extremely dangerous in present times. There are only too often structural changes and «black swans*» in almost all branches which bring with them a fundamental change in business models, products and services, yes, even customer behaviour.

Above all and first of all, knowledge about the current organisational situation is needed to actively be able to shape the future. Forget SWOT analyses. They may have their place in nice PowerPoint presentations but have become outdated fnow or a long time. Pseudo-analyses falsified by being rationally steered, socially desirable, perhaps even through tunnel vision and blind spots inevitably lead to wrong conclusions and decisions.

The real treasure to be discovered, detected and excavated, however, are all beneath the surface, in the so-called deep structure of an organization. Here lies potential, power and capacity, the relevant resources. In fact, the future. Now that is the underlying structure which we should analyse.

That sounds difficult, even abstract and esoteric but it doesn’t have to be. sweep digs up this structure burried deep down, brings it to the surface and makes it clearly visible to everyone so that the future can finally be actively shaped. You can call it strategic development. Or simply shaping the future. But it is easy, efficient, value for money, and effective. And for pioneers who know it is time for a new perspective.

sweep – Pioneers of a new management world.


* Recommended book: Nassim Nicholas Taleb, «The Black Swan». Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2010.