Approach 1: Classical 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 aspects from vision – to – action.

  • Mission – What is our core?
  • Vision  – What is our ambition for the future?
  • External and Internal Analysis  – What’s going on?
  • Strategic Agenda – what are our Strategic Issues?
  • Strategy – How to get there?
  • Plan – What are our next steps?
  • Action – Who is doing what and when?

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

Approach 2: Setting Strategic Directions

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

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 statement.

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.

Approach 3: Making Strategic Decisions and Dealing with Uncertainties

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 high impact decisions have to be made impacting a lot of people, money and time.

If the focus is on content, Strategic Decision Analysis is used.
  • Decisions and decision options are identified
  • Decision criteria are chosen
  • Decisions structure is identified (one can not make a decision in one area, without implicitly deciding in another area)
  • Uncertainties and decisions are translated into scenarios with a certain probability and outcome
  • And finally risk return plots are generated for different strategies
Example: Technology decisions
If the focus is on stakeholder interaction, Preference Tree Analysis (based on Game Theory) is used
  • Key players are identified
  • Possible moves are identified for each of the players
  • The preferences of all the moves from all players are determined
  • Software is availabe to analyse scenarios
Example: Mergers & Acquisitions, (multi-player)-negotiations

Preference Trees Analysis

Approach 4: Innovating in Networks

Your added value =
The size of the pie when you are in the game
The size of the pie when you are out of the game

B.J. Nalebuff & A.M. Brandenburger

Traditional Innovation Management focuses on how to organize as a private company the internal processes, like roadmapping, programming, competence development, value proposition and technology development.

However, in the last three decades business have organized themselves in networks and there is a lot more interaction with the outside world to be managed in innovation.

It is thanks to Nalebuff and Brandenburger, who have been redefining terms like added value and competitors Also they have invented new terms, like complementor.

In this way, interactions with public organisations, regional and global industrial associations, NGO’s, media and the general public can be embedded in one strategic approach towards innovation. This is absolutely necessary to cope with the challenges of today.

Modern Innovation management implies to lead a collaborative network of internal and external actors to create and deliver new added value (additional pie) to its eco-system.

The more added value a player has, the more power it has to influence the network towards its ambitions.

Managing innovative networks feels like gardening. The grass decides whether it wants to grow and in what direction, the gardener can provide seeds, water, conditions for light and warmth, fertilizer, soil or regroup plants, but then he has to wait and see what happens. Like the gardener, the innovation manager is making  minimal high impact interventions to sustain the self-organisation power of innovative organisation and still make it develop coherently with the rest of the network.