Traditional Strategy Methods fail to impress.

Traditional strategy theories based on the VMOST type approach, Porter and Mintzberg present unconvincing output among students.  Mission, goals and vision are easily stated, but the problem comes when trying to teach people to convert these into meaningful actions. There seems to be a missing link ,a gulf if you like, between traditional corporate strategy statements and operating model design.

The development of the Business Model Canvas (A.Osterwalder, 2010) helps here greatly, but it still fails to appear in the main textbooks that stick to the older strategic planning tools and theories.

The business model and the expansion of the “how to” part of that model, the operating model, is key.

What we need to do is to try to connect up the steps in “strategy to reality” or “strategy to execution”. Often these steps are isolated and separated. What is needed is to join these steps into a more continuous logical development towards a sensible outcome that is meaningful in both strategic and day to day terms.

The four steps to success: strategy, operating model development, implementation and run/control need to have tools and techniques that create a much more visible end to end process rather than being stuck in their own worlds.

Strategists, architects, project managers and finally the operational managers ,who have to realise the strategy day to day operation,  all operate separately; they talk different languages, use different approaches. All this seems to pull everyone in their area of expertise towards fiefdoms of their own area of expertise. Change is siloed.

This year we hope to expand on this thinking as we develop a strategy to execution storyboard to help people link strategy through to business as usual using a set of simple tools and approaches.

I have been trialing these ideas with our third year undergraduate students who are studying the UK’s only specialist degree in insurance. The Strategic Management Module has given me a great opportunity as a lecturer to try to stitch the parts together and make some sense of the stages that traditionally are taught in a separate way.

I will keep you posted!

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