Executives, Let Stakeholders Drive Your Strategy
If executives are asked how they develop their companies’ strategies, they will likely answer they sort of ‘couple’ two sides of an equation, according to the traditional strategic management framework. On one side sits the external environment of an organization, on the other sits the company itself with all of its internal capabilities, with strategy concerning how you align the two. The problem is that this approach does not produce strategy, but it only explains it.
How is then possible for a group of managers to accurately design their business’ strategy? Consider however that restricting the development of the strategy to a group of executives may fail to produce new innovative strategies!
MOVE FROM DEVELOP TO DISCOVER: often, executive don’t know which way to turn in the face of rapid change: shift your method if you intend to make breakthroughs! Stop guessing and start inquiring!
START FROM YOUR STAKEHOLDERS: actors such as end users, distributors and suppliers are a resource you can tip. Indeed, they are on the outside looking in and are thus very good at providing ideas which can be used as an input in strategic change.
TIME FOR A STRATEGY SHIFT? Bringing in external stakeholders in strategy making can make executives question what they believe and look at the world in a new way. It is a chance to start treating strategy-making as a genuinely creative process.
CHANGE DIRECTION: stop trying to do all the heavy lifting! Get your stakeholders to remove some of the hard work by interviewing them, and then investigate the results. Discoveries could tip your strategy in a new successful direction!
[Complete article, “Executives, Let Stakeholders Drive Your Strategy”, available at https://hbr.org/2021/09/executives-let-stakeholders-drive-your-strategy]
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