Innoguru advises, co-designs and facilitates strategic transformation processes

  • strategy formation, bringing people together to create a shared strategy and move to action. More Info ….
  • strategic direction setting, creating purpose and energy by defining a challenging perspective on the future. More Info ….
  • strategic decision making, facilitating complex strategic decision making, addressing multiple stakeholders and uncertainties. More Info ….
  • innovation management, organisation development towards innovational behavior fitting the business environment and ambitions. More Info ….
more about working with Ruud Gal
  • 30 years of experience in the fields of strategy and innovation, Netherlands as well as European; small as well as big business entities
  • a personal approach. creating transformations is always a co-design of the strategic transformation process,  seeking a fit with the past of the organisation and it’s desired future. Knowledge about the whereabouts of the organisation has to be mixed up with my experise on approaches, methods & tools.
  • my efforts are focused on building on the strengths of people, building a shared strategy in order to achieve shared ambitions and goals
  • more info what customers say about working with me
  • my resume

Strategy Formation

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there

(Lewis Caroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)


Innoguru offers different approaches to Strategy Formation, depending on the situation at the start, the level of uncertainty and the area of uncertainties.

If uncertainties are manageable and the focus is more on leveraging and combining the knowledge of the company and creating ownership for the strategy to be formed, a classical “Vision-to-Action” approach is appropriate.

It is able to cover all domains from

  • Mission (What is our core),
  • Vision (The ambition for the future),
  • External and Internal Analysis (What’s going on). From these set of analyses, a
  • Strategic Agenda is defined, which is translated into a
  • Strategy (How to get there). And as last step, the Strategy has to be operationalised by a
  • Plan and the next steps
  • Actions.

The approach can be customized to your specific situation, using what is already there and adding detailed analysis, where deeper analysis is needed.

Strategic Direction Setting

In chaos there is opportunity

Sun Tzu, Chinese strategist and philosopher (app. 500 BC)

Many managers think that avoiding uncertainties is a good thing to do.  And if you have a lot to lose, then that is a fair approach.

But there is also another way of looking at it, companies like Philips, Siemens, GE, Albert Hein, but also Microsoft, Apple, Google in their times have grabbed the risky opportunities and discovered new roads to fortune and became game changers.

It is also fair to say that many more people pursued similar ambitious dreams, but due to bad luck or just the wrong dream, they did not make it. An interesting  example is General Magic.

Industry Roadmap for the European Lighting Industry

Every once in a while organisations are confronted with situations that need bold steps, although wrong steps may have a huge impact and there is a lot at stake. Instead of wait and see,  it is an option to define stretched targets, although there is no guarantee that your organisation will meet them. If you don’t, you may run the risk that you have reached your targets, while your competitors managed to exceed them.

An example is the transformation that the Lighting industry is currently undergoing. It is moving to LEDs, it is moving towards digital, there is new biological functionality using light, focused on well-being and staying healthy.  I was asked to design and facilitate the proces of creating a vision and a roadmap with key people  in the Lighting industry. It is a good example to help the companies in the industry with there own ambitions, positioning and roadmap, but also in affiliated industries and the European Commission and Countries to have ambitions defined and a visionary roadmap drawn. Please click on the image above to see how the roadmap vision is structuring activities in the industry.

Strategic Decision Making

“A decision is an irrevocable allocation of resources”

prof. emiritus dr. Jac Geurts

In case uncertainties are high, it is often wiser to think big (in terms of ambition and long term objectives), but make small actionable steps avoiding wasting time, money, creativity of your best people and management attention.

But, once in a while the small steps are taken and now a big decision has to be made often involving a lot of people, money and time.

Basically, there are two sources of uncertainties in complex decision making.

  • Uncertainties related to lack of knowledge (related to technology or market development)
  • Uncertainties related to the interaction between players (for example: if we enter the market with this new service, how will the customers, but also our competitors and business partners respond?)
For the knowledge related uncertainties, a methodology called Strategic Decision Analysis is used.
  • Decisions and decision options are identified
  • Decision criteria are chosen
  • Decisions relations are identified (one can not make a decision in one area, without implicitly deciding in an other area)
  • Uncertainties and decisions are translated into scenarios with a certaint probability and outcome
  • And finally risk return plots are generated for different strategies (sets of decisions)
 For interaction related uncertainties a methodology called Preference Tree Analysis is used
  • The different key players are identified
  • Possible moves are identified for each of the players (both pro-active as re-active moves)
  • The preferences of all the moves from all players are assessed and put in a preferred order
  • A software tool is used to analyse most relevant scenarios

Preference Trees Analysis

Innovation Management

Innovation management is the way to lead a network of internal and external actors to create and deliver new added value to customers, to it’s eco-system, to society and by creating WIN-WIN to the network itself.

Some of the challenges of Innovation Management can be derived from the strategic resource perspective of Prahalad and Hamel in their book “Competing for the Future” (1990).

Innovation and it’s issues is very organization and/or network specific. My experience is that most innovation issues can be linked to one or more of the purposes and activities in the Business Creation Model above.  These activities may have conflicting purposes or require conditions (like culture). For example: “Maximizing efficiency and productivity” in the “Compete for Market Share” may conflict   The real challenge of Innovation Management is to find the right priorities and translate these into a temporary balance and then already move the organisation to the next more or less stable state. This business creation model reads as a step-by-step approach, but in reality most innovative companies are doing a lot of these things at the same time.

A small example to show the dynamics (especially in the front-end innovation and not yet process/project driven stages)

Impact of top-down restructuring on an innovation network

With new network tools, like Gelphi, we are able to visualize the tentions in organisation due to these transformations. In the innovation network above, each dot is a person. One can see that some clusters are present and as manager knowing who should be co-creating with who, one knows that it is not OK. Certain clusters should be working together more than that is visualized here. Withn Gelphi, one is able to make these graphs dynamic, so show developments in the network structure over time.