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Strategy:
Recognizing Fake Strategy
By
Dr. Michael McDermott
mcdermottm1@nku.edu
© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

1
Fake or Bad Strategy is
Widespread

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

2
Fake Strategy:
The Process and Outcome

Goal
Setting

Lack of
Direction

Confusion

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

Panic

3
The Three Pillars of Fake Strategy

Fake Strategy
Bad
Failure to Mistaking
Define the Goals for Strategic
Challenge Strategy Objectives
© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

4
The Three Key Hallmarks of Fake
Strategy
Failure to Face
the Challenge
Mistaking Goals
for Strategy
Bad Strategic
Objectives

• You must define the challenge
• If you cannot define the challenge, you
cannot evaluate the strategy or improve it

• Do not confuse desire with a plan to
overcome obstacles

• Fail to address critical issues
• Objectives are impracticable
© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

5
Bad Strategy in 3D
The Focus is on 3D
• Desire;
• Drive; and
• Determination

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

6
The 3D Essence of Bad Strategy

Desire

Drive

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

Determination

7
Incoherence:
The Essence of Bad Strategy
• At best pursuing multiple unconnected
objectives
• At its worst, it involves pursuing conflicting
objectives

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

8
The Cost of Bad Strategy
It is a source of
weakness
because it is
incoherent

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

9
Recognizing Fake Strategy
Organization is in Denial
It’s Pretentious

(refuses to define the
challenge)

Fake
Strategy
It has a “Bad” Objective
Its focus is Goals

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

(Irrelevant or
impracticable)
10
Good Strategy defines a
critical challenge
© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

11
What’s Goin’ On?

Diagnosis is
the
essence of
strategy
© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

12
Strategy and Two Popular Misconceptions

1. Strategy is formulaic or
mechanistic
2. Strategy is goal-setting
© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

13
Strategy and Two Popular Misconceptions:
Implications for Learners
Strategy is formulaic or mechanistic
You should abandon any notions that there is a “magic
template” that delivers strategy;
You need to begin to feel comfortable with ambiguity and
learn to cope with “lack of direction”
Strategy is goal-setting
Anyone can quickly create goals that everyone loves, but
again this is not strategy

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

14
Addressing Popular Misconception 1:
Strategy is Formulaic

Genuine strategy
cannot be
created by
adopting a
“painting by
numbers”
approach
© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

15
Strategy by Numbers is Pointless
• It results in radically different companies in
very diverse situations producing strategies
that are at worst identical and at best very
similar.

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

16
Addressing Popular Misconception 1:
Strategy is Formulaic
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Market
Penetration
Product
Development
Acquisitions
Enter Emerging
Markets
Divest ‘dogs’
Increase R&D
expenditure
© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

17
Is this Strategy?
• “We aim to consolidate our presence in our
developed markets, continuing to create
innovative products, and are well–positioned
to penetrate emerging markets”.

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

18
Step 1 in Bad or Counterfeit Strategy:
Fill in the blanks
Vision

• INSERT BANAL HERE

Mission

• INSERT BANAL HERE

Core Values • INSERT BANAL HERE
Goals

• INSERT BANAL HERE
© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

19
Faking Strategy

• Simply working through a
template of ‘tools’ cannot
deliver genuine strategy

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

20
Simply working through a
template of ‘tools’ cannot
deliver genuine strategy

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

21
Yes. And this is THE
most difficult
aspect of this class.
Accepting this fact

Are you
serious?

Simply working through a
template of ‘tools’ cannot
deliver genuine strategy
© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

22
The Learning Evolution in this Class

Apply
Knowledge
Acquire
Knowledge

Advanced
Skills

(i.e. Basic
skills)

© Michael McDermott, 2014;
mcdermottm1@nku.edu

23

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Recognizing fake strategy

  • 1. Strategy: Recognizing Fake Strategy By Dr. Michael McDermott mcdermottm1@nku.edu © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 1
  • 2. Fake or Bad Strategy is Widespread © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 2
  • 3. Fake Strategy: The Process and Outcome Goal Setting Lack of Direction Confusion © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu Panic 3
  • 4. The Three Pillars of Fake Strategy Fake Strategy Bad Failure to Mistaking Define the Goals for Strategic Challenge Strategy Objectives © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 4
  • 5. The Three Key Hallmarks of Fake Strategy Failure to Face the Challenge Mistaking Goals for Strategy Bad Strategic Objectives • You must define the challenge • If you cannot define the challenge, you cannot evaluate the strategy or improve it • Do not confuse desire with a plan to overcome obstacles • Fail to address critical issues • Objectives are impracticable © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 5
  • 6. Bad Strategy in 3D The Focus is on 3D • Desire; • Drive; and • Determination © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 6
  • 7. The 3D Essence of Bad Strategy Desire Drive © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu Determination 7
  • 8. Incoherence: The Essence of Bad Strategy • At best pursuing multiple unconnected objectives • At its worst, it involves pursuing conflicting objectives © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 8
  • 9. The Cost of Bad Strategy It is a source of weakness because it is incoherent © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 9
  • 10. Recognizing Fake Strategy Organization is in Denial It’s Pretentious (refuses to define the challenge) Fake Strategy It has a “Bad” Objective Its focus is Goals © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu (Irrelevant or impracticable) 10
  • 11. Good Strategy defines a critical challenge © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 11
  • 12. What’s Goin’ On? Diagnosis is the essence of strategy © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 12
  • 13. Strategy and Two Popular Misconceptions 1. Strategy is formulaic or mechanistic 2. Strategy is goal-setting © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 13
  • 14. Strategy and Two Popular Misconceptions: Implications for Learners Strategy is formulaic or mechanistic You should abandon any notions that there is a “magic template” that delivers strategy; You need to begin to feel comfortable with ambiguity and learn to cope with “lack of direction” Strategy is goal-setting Anyone can quickly create goals that everyone loves, but again this is not strategy © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 14
  • 15. Addressing Popular Misconception 1: Strategy is Formulaic Genuine strategy cannot be created by adopting a “painting by numbers” approach © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 15
  • 16. Strategy by Numbers is Pointless • It results in radically different companies in very diverse situations producing strategies that are at worst identical and at best very similar. © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 16
  • 17. Addressing Popular Misconception 1: Strategy is Formulaic 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Market Penetration Product Development Acquisitions Enter Emerging Markets Divest ‘dogs’ Increase R&D expenditure © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 17
  • 18. Is this Strategy? • “We aim to consolidate our presence in our developed markets, continuing to create innovative products, and are well–positioned to penetrate emerging markets”. © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 18
  • 19. Step 1 in Bad or Counterfeit Strategy: Fill in the blanks Vision • INSERT BANAL HERE Mission • INSERT BANAL HERE Core Values • INSERT BANAL HERE Goals • INSERT BANAL HERE © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 19
  • 20. Faking Strategy • Simply working through a template of ‘tools’ cannot deliver genuine strategy © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 20
  • 21. Simply working through a template of ‘tools’ cannot deliver genuine strategy © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 21
  • 22. Yes. And this is THE most difficult aspect of this class. Accepting this fact Are you serious? Simply working through a template of ‘tools’ cannot deliver genuine strategy © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 22
  • 23. The Learning Evolution in this Class Apply Knowledge Acquire Knowledge Advanced Skills (i.e. Basic skills) © Michael McDermott, 2014; mcdermottm1@nku.edu 23