When I read this weeks’ reading “The Real Value of Strategic Planning,” I found Henry Mintzberg’s argument about “real strategy is made informally” very interesting. To him, real strategy will be formed in daily work instead of formal planning meetings. If this is true, then why is it that so many companies, big or small, keep on searching help from those strategic consulting firms like McKinsey and BCG? Are they really helpful, especially when they come with a big, fat bill? How can they help the organization in their strategic planning process? What exactly will they do?
With this question in mind, I went to Mckinsey’s website looking for an answer, and here is what I found:
“Most companies’ approach to strategy involves the mistaken assumption that a predictable path to the future can be paved from the experience of the past. In the turbulent business environment we face today, companies must let go of the notion that strategic outcomes can be predetermined and that enduring competitive advantage can be defined and achieved. Instead, we define strategy as a coherent and evolving portfolio of initiatives to drive shareholder value and long-term performance. This change in thinking requires management to develop a “you are what you do” perspective as opposed to “you are what you say.” In other words, companies are defined by the initiatives they prioritize and drive, not merely by mission and vision statements. “
Is this paragraph the answer of my question? I am not sure. But there is one thing I am sure about, that is strategic planning/developing is actually a very big concept that includes basically everything from facing the changes to making choices. It can not only help organization to prepare for the future changes, but also improve the decision-making process by providing a clear target.
The discussion of strategy planning can certainly extend beyond this blog post. So these 2 following questions might be useful:
- Which kind of company is the number 1 favorite customer for strategic consulting firms and why?
- How can those strategic consulting companies help organization in the strategic planning process?
 Executive insight for Mckinsey Strategy services, http://www.mckinsey.com/clientservice/strategy/insight.asp , 03/23/2011