Highlights by David Willden
Michael Birshan (Principal in London Office) and Jayanti Kar (consultant in same office) published an insightful article in July of 2012 in McKinsey Quarterly titled “Becoming More Strategic: Three Tips for any Executive.”
Below are highlights from their insightful article on how to become highly strategic. See the link below to access article.
Being able to think strategically in the high-tech industry involves a nuanced understanding of strategy topics such as network effects, platforms, and standards. In the utilities sector, it involves mastery of the economic implications of (and room for strategic maneuvers afforded by) the regulatory regime. In mining, leaders must understand the strategic implications of cost curves, game theory, and real-options valuation; further, they must know and be sensitive to the stakeholders in their regulatory and societal environment, many of whom can directly influence their opportunities to create value.
Many executives are happy to delegate technology to others, and have little knowledge of cross-cutting technology trends.
Often too many resources—including mental energy—are devoted to following the activities of long-standing competitors rather than less conventional ones that may pose an equivalent (or greater) strategic threat.
A more adaptive strategy-development process places a premium on effective communications from all the executives participating. The (needed) strategy journey…involves meeting for two to four hours every week or two to discuss strategy topics and requires each executive taking part to flag issues and lead the discussion about them.
We are entering the age of the strategist. As our colleagues Chris Bradley, Lowell Bryan, and Sven Smit have explained in ” Managing the strategy journey,” a powerful means of coping with today’s more volatile environment is increasing the time a company’s top team spends on strategy. Involving more senior leaders in strategic dialogue makes it easier to stay ahead of emerging opportunities, respond quickly to unexpected threats, and make timely decisions. This is a significant change. At a good number of companies, corporate strategy has long represented the bland aggregation of strategies that individual business unit heads put forward. At others, it’s been the domain of a small coterie, perhaps led by a chief strategist who is protective of his or her domain-or the exclusive territory of a CEO. Rare is the company, though, where all members of the top team have well-developed strategic muscles. Some executives reach the C-suite because of functional expertise, while others, including business unit heads and even some CEOs, are much stronger on execution than on strategic thinking. In some companies, that very