Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dynamic strategy - What today's organizations MUST follow

What is the problem with the traditional approach?

Some of the main problems faced by organizations today are their inability to translate their strategy and realize a quantifiable output. The reasons that attribute to this are Failure to translate strategy which happens when the strategy is understood by the senior leadership team but is poorly translated into design principles and downstream implementation choices. Second, it results because of the failure to adopt the strategy since the real world is actually more complex and things change at an accelerated pace. Finally, even if an organization overcomes all these hurdles and implements an efficient strategy, sustaining them is one of the biggest challenges faced by most of the organizations and that is when they fail. This can happen due to poor management, and many organizations succumb to pressure and revert back to the original strategy. So what do organizations today need?

What is Dynamic strategy all about? 

Dynamic strategy has all the elements that are required to combat these issues with the traditional strategy implementation. It helps the organizations to efficiently translate the strategy, adapt during strategy implementation by course of correcting and by building in mechanisms for learning and finally it helps organizations to sustain this strategy by building organizational capabilities and demonstrating impact. The dynamic approach addresses these issues on multiple fronts by articulating actionable design principles which provide direction to implementation teams without being prescriptive. All said but done, dynamic strategy implementation involves a lot of challenges and demands a different kind of leadership attention with consistent focus. Dynamic approach requires the use of metrics that specify a clear line of sight between program deliverable and the desired strategic outcome. Having said this, Can dynamic strategy plans be applied to start-ups as well?

Dynamic strategy for start-ups:

Technology start-ups cannot stick to a proposed strategy plan in most of the cases. This is because, the field of technology grows at a very fast pace and the market space is really competitive. Hence, these kind of organizations need to adapt to changes quickly. Hence a traditional strategy approach cannot be implemented in this kind of a setup. Dynamic strategy approach can be implemented to these start-ups to help them gain market share and help them compete with the big players. The two variables that are a major constraint for these start-ups are Time and cost. Based on these they can build an incremental model which can be reviewed at each point in time and further investments on that front can be decided based on that.  

The bottom line:

Many organizations today are moving towards a more dynamic approach to strategy and leaving behind the traditional approach. Organizations feel that it is easier for them to plan ahead and it does not hurt them monetarily in case the strategy fails to work out. This happens many times in a fast paced environment. So the bottom line is that dynamic strategy does score over the traditional strategy approach as it helps organizations to translate, adapt and sustain the strategy they devised. However, will this be a good
approach for all the organizations? Or is it restricted to only well established firms?

1. Dynamic Strategy Implementation (Dunlop, Firth, and Lurie, Deloitte University 
Press, 2013) 
2. A dynamic strategy for uncertain times - McKinsey & Company

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