Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Periodic Strategy Review Sessions

In the “Lesson in Longevity, From I.B.M.”[i], Mr. Yoffie of Harvard Business School mentioned “It’s really hard to move a company when it’s doing well and not facing a crisis” by using I.B.M.’s example. It is absolutely true because people believe their current strategies while they are working. However, the author claims people face the time to change their strategies sooner or later. If so, how will they change their strategy smoothly?

In class, I learned a strategy based on several analyses such as performance evaluation, environmental analysis, industry analysis, and company analysis. These analyses compare past and present, and then set companies’ strategies with future market forecast. Nevertheless, if companies change their strategies dramatically, there is a possibility that they neglect periodic updates of those analyses. Needless to say, market changes from day to day. If executive teams keep their eyes on their market, companies only have to update their strategies a bit.

On the other hand, unexpected innovations make companies change their strategies. Although it seems difficult to assess the impact of the innovation early on, the impact is equal for almost all company except for one company which made it. In other words, new innovation is a dangerous sign for successful companies in the market. Thus, executive teams should share an awareness of the danger of innovations.

Although keeping an eye on the  market and sharing awareness of the danger of innovation are stereotyped phrases, executives fall into a pitfall because they cannot do it easily. One of the ways to avoid the pitfall is scheduling several strategy review sessions during a fiscal year. Leaving a strategy nearly one year might not be enough to survive in this recent rapid changing economy. Periodic strategy review sessions remind executives updating latest market status and the danger of innovations.

[i] Steve Lohr. "Lessons in Longevity, From I.B.M." The New York Times June 2011

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