Agile Strategy Cone Advisor


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Sustainable strategy is achieved by doing things in a new way. Continuous renewal becomes the only sustainable strategy.
This is new to strategic thinking, which until now has mainly pursued the benefits of sustainable strategy without being able to identify its main factor – agile strategy.

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  • As expected, scholars argued on how strategy should make. One scholar defines strategy as a pattern of decisions and other view strategy as a pattern of action. Mintzberg and Waters 1985 distinguished these to definitions of strategy as indented strategy and realized strategy. Strategies can be also emerging unintentionally as strategist takes gradually steps by trying to piece together a viable course of action. Those can be called emergent strategies. Patterns of action emerge over time at the same time as learning and agreeing in the organization take place on particular direction. In addition, strategies that are fully realized are deliberate strategies. In the end, those strategies that are not emerged or are not realized at all are unrealized strategies. All real-world strategies need to mix these by some means in same time to attempt to control the strategy and actively learning from environment. Furthermore, firms often define strategies quite loosely that it is open for learning. This is usually called umbrella strategy - “the broad outlines are deliberate while details are allowed to emerge within them” (Mintzberg 1994). Emergent strategies are purposefully “designed” and are not by design bad strategies and deliberate ones good strategies. Consequently, it is may be hard to identify real problem. Problems could be in poor implementation or weak formulation of strategy. It is typical for entrepreneurs that implementation get close the formulator of strategy and implementers have influence over formulation. In reality, in the case of entrepreneurial strategy this can be also referred as the emergent type of strategy. Thus, the term formulation has to be replaced by formation because here strategies can form without being formulated (Mintzberg 1994). Emergent strategy is a set of actions, or behavior, consistent over time, "a realized pattern [that] was not expressly intended" in the original planning of strategy. When a deliberate strategy is realized, the result matches the intended course of action. An emergent strategy develops when an organization takes a series of actions that with time turn into a consistent pattern of behavior, regardless of specific intentions. Deliberate strategies provide the organization with a sense of purposeful direction. Emergent strategy implies that an organization is learning what works in practice. Mixing the deliberate and the emergent strategies in some way will help the organization to control its course while encouraging the learning process.
  • Agile Strategy Cone Advisor

    1. 2. Agile Strategy Some Foundations By Jukka Ala-Mutka, DSc. © CONE ADVISOR
    2. 3. Introduction to presentation <ul><li>Sustainable strategy is achieved by doing things in a new way. Continuous renewal becomes the only sustainable strategy. </li></ul><ul><li>This is new to strategic thinking, which until now has mainly pursued the benefits of sustainable strategy without being able to identify its main factor – agile strategy . </li></ul>© CONE ADVISOR
    3. 4. <ul><li>” This is so hectic business that it is impossible to manage with strategy...” </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>in 2000 </li></ul>© CONE ADVISOR
    4. 5. What is Strategy? Emergent Strategy Planned Strategy Intented Strategy Realized Strategy Unrealized Strategy Adopted: Mintzberg & Waters 1985, Mintzberg 1987, 1994, Mintzberg et al. 1998 Internal Formation External Megatreds Opportunistic decisions © CONE ADVISOR
    5. 6. Traditional definition of strategy is not applicable <ul><li>(1) We need a lot of RIGHT information </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Issues must be known BEFOREHAND </li></ul><ul><li>(3) Then we make DECISIONS and in the end becomes IMPLEMENTATION AND CONTROL... </li></ul><ul><li>= Our problem is STRATEGY </li></ul>© CONE ADVISOR Source: Ala-Mutka. 2008. Strategiamalli.
    6. 7. Agile Strategy - Culture <ul><li>Strategic growth goals: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Too realistic” = No need to change the way of doing </li></ul><ul><li>Ambitious = Open to emergent strategies </li></ul>VS. ” I focus on corporate culture...” Mårten Mickos MySQL in 2007 Source: Ala-Mutka. 2008. Strategiamalli. © CONE ADVISOR
    7. 8. Can you just lead strategies? Yes, with business models <ul><li>Ramirent Plc decided to enter on East European markets in 1999, but afterwards they acquired Bautas (Norway) and Altima (Sweden) from west. </li></ul><ul><li>This just because of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>opportunity and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>acquisitions fits in to the business model - not based on the plan. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yes you can with business models , not with plans </li></ul>© CONE ADVISOR Source: Ala-Mutka. 2008. Strategiamalli.
    8. 9. Make business model easier to communicate with Business Rules (~ Simple Rules) <ul><li>1. Decision Rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Southwest: Midsize cities and secondary airports </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Boundary Rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Southwest: no seating, no meals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3. Activity Rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3M: each employee can use 15% of working time to a new innovative projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Southwest: point-to-point flights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Performance Rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3M: new products 25% of sales (new = under 5 year old product) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Southwest: very low ticket prices (competition against cars) and 15 min turnaround </li></ul></ul>Source: Ala-Mutka 2008 p. 185-188, see also Eisenhardt & Sull 2001 Simple Rules © CONE ADVISOR
    9. 10. Process: Year Clock vs. Agile Dialogue Analysis Planning Implementation Control Feedback Tasks Planning Participation Strategy Modelling, Implementation and Feedback Tasks Planning Participation Tasks Planning Participation Time Source: Ala-Mutka. 2008. Strategiamalli. © CONE ADVISOR
    10. 11. Traditional vs. Agile Strategy <ul><li>Traditional Strategy... </li></ul><ul><li>Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Document </li></ul><ul><li>Based on Analysis and formal step-by-step process </li></ul><ul><li>“ Lots of paper before action...” </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation </li></ul><ul><li>70% of strategy (plan) implementation fails.... </li></ul><ul><li>Agile Strategy... </li></ul><ul><li>Mindset and rules </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogue and planning </li></ul><ul><li>Based on testing in practice (interaction & interactions) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Action and talking at same time...” </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to Lead </li></ul><ul><li>Because people does... </li></ul>Source: Ala-Mutka. 2008. Strategiamalli. © CONE ADVISOR