the essence of strategy has not changed and will not change during the coming decade! It represents the common understanding regarding the ever-changing competitive environment, and what the company’s response is to that. It represents your promise to deliver value to your customers, both now and in the future, in a way that no other company can do, in a world of VUCA.
Every manager in every company business function is part of a high-impact VUCA world: Volatility – Uncertainty – Complexity – Ambiguity. In this VUCA world, Nassim Nicholas Taleb published his famous book “The Black Swan” in 2007. Based on Taleb’s Black Swans, we have been using the phenomenon of Grey Swans with our unique Grey Swan Analysis. In the spring of 2016, Michele Wucker came out with her book “The Gray Rhino”, on the basis of which we added ‘Gray Rhino Analysis’ to our strategic intelligence practices.
The above is one of the testimonials concerning our Master Class held in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2016 with 45 business professionals attending from a wide variety of industry sectors. It was a real challenge for us to work with these Israeli professionals in what is seen as the “cradle of the most advanced intelligence practices in the world”. Our host was the Israel Export Institute.
Many firms still follow the traditional approaches to strategy that were designed for more stable times, emphasizing analysis and planning and focused on maximizing short-term performance rather than long-term robustness. In early 2016 Harvard Business Review published research dealing with 30,000 public US-companies over a time span of 50 years.
If you are dissatisfied with strategy-making based on information, backward-looking analysis, management controls and problem-solving after the event, but you would still like to make a positive contribution to thinking about the future, it is time for strategic intelligence.
We frequently ask ourselves “Why doesn’t top management see change?” In 2014, the Dutch financial newspaper, Het Financieele Dagblad, published an astonishing article about another international Dutch company taken by surprise: SBM Offshore. This company is active in the global offshore oil & gas exploration business. The newspaper heading was “Market forces us to lay off jobs”.