Moving Toward Strategy as a Flexible Process

S trategy is dynamic. Different business units — positioned at different locations on the S-Curve — will face different strategic challenges.

The implication is profound: a one-size fits all, top-down strategy process (traditional strategic planning) will not be the most productive approach to maximizing a return on assets.

In too many cases, corporations are driving toward numbers, instead of clear, multi-dimensional strategic outcomes. Top management has converted strategy into a stale budgeting exercise, instead of a more dynamic strategic alignment among business units. In other cases, strategy is treated as an event, not an on-going process.

Companies instead need a more agile, flexible, and simple approach to these complex challenges. They need an “operating system” for strategy that is easily adopted and understood throughout the enterprise. That’s why we designed Strategic Doing.

Ed Morrison is Director of the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. For the past five or six years, he has been developing new, agile approaches to strategy in open, loosely joined networks, a discipline he calls Strategic Doing. Prior to starting his economic development work, Ed worked for Telesis, a corporate strategy consulting firm. In this position, he served on consulting teams for clients such as Ford Motor Company, Volvo, and General Electric. He conducted manufacturing cost studies in the U.S., Japan, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Sweden, and France. Ed started his professional career in Washington, D.C., where he has served as a legislative assistant to an Ohio Congressman, staff attorney in the Federal Trade Commission, and staff counsel in the US Senate. He holds a BA degree cum laude with honors from Yale University and MBA and JD degrees from the University of Virginia.

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