Strategy Papers

Our strategy papers are regularly published in leading strategy and management journals.

[*Please note we can only send a maximum of 3 papers.]

Strategy in Uncertain Environments

The current economic environment is highly uncertain for most organisations. This level of uncertainty affects how we develop strategy, in particular how we answer questions about where and how we compete and the type of capabilities we need to develop in uncertain environments.

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Strategic Intelligent Cost Reduction (ICR)

In challenging economic times such as these all organisations are under pressure to cut costs, but it is important to avoid the common pitfalls of easy cost reduction that destroy long term organisational value.

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Building the Experimenting Organisation

In today’s rapidly changing market organisations face increasing pressure to change and evolve rapidly. Building an experimenting organisation based on innovation and small scale experimentation is an effective way of creating the valuable learning and ongoing organisational evolution needed to survive and thrive.

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Simple Rules in Not For Profit Environments

Clarifying the main task of the organisation and simple rules can assist in managing through the inherent complexity of competing demands in not for profit environments.

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Beneficiary Doctrine in Not For Profit Organisations

Beneficiary doctrine can be a helpful tool to prioritise stakeholders, guide decision making and measure performance in Not For Profit environments.

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Strategy Diagnostic Workshop

Top teams face a number of challenges in developing and delivering effective strategy. A useful starting point is to diagnose the current state of an organisation’s strategy. Based on extensive research and strategy development experience, Stratevolve have developed a diagnostic workshop. The aim is to kick-start an effective strategy development process, generate consensus within the executive team around six key strategic questions, and agree some key priorities to take forward.

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Generic Strategies: A Substitute for Thinking?

What influences your strategic decisions? Of all the things you could learn about strategy, what theories and models do you really need to know? Are they sufficient? If they worked in your last organisation, will they work now? Cliff Bowman reviews strategy prescriptions of the last 30 years and identifies their shortcomings, arguing that there can be no substitute for thought and solutions unique to individual business scenarios.

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What Does Value Mean and How is it Created, Maintained, and Destroyed?

We argue that “value” has a different meaning for different stakeholders and that if the firm operates in line with investor interests, it acts as both customer and supplier and it’s motivations will reflect these roles. We propose that 5 separate types of activity can be discerned that directly impact on value creation, maintenance, and loss.

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How the Resource-based and the Dynamic Capability Views of the Firm Inform Corporate-level Strategy

We concentrate on the issue of value creation from corporate centres and ask how the centre can possess or provide resources. We propose six distinct modes of resource creation and discuss the dynamic capabilities that corporate centres must possess to avoid destroying shareholder value.

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Strategy Workshops and Top-Team Commitment to Strategic Change

Describes the experience of 40 strategy workshops conducted with top teams from a variety of businesses. We present and discuss four outcomes from the workshop process: impoverished strategy, consultants strategy, blinkered strategy, and workshop strategy. The importance of entering the “zone of uncomfortable debate” is highlighted and techniques to explore shared assumptions are presented.

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How to Determine Your Future Resource Creation Processes

Drawing on recent resource-based management theory, we review insights into the sources of advantage for the firm. We develop and advocate a diagnostic process to produce unique configurations of resource and resource creation processes that reflect both the firm’s history and future environment.

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Tacit Knowledge – Some Suggestions for Operationalization

With the emergence of the resource-based view of the firm, intangible resources and tacit knowledge in particular are argued to occupy a central place in the development of sustainable competitive advantage. We set out to define “tacit skills” and propose a methodology to empirically identify such skills.

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Top Management Ownership of the Strategy Problem

Using two dimensions of involvement in the strategy process – quality and ownership – four styles of involvement have been identified: mature involvement, abdicate, frustrated, and detached. An instrument has been developed to identify a senior executive’s style, and the results have been fed into strategy debates within top teams with challenging consequences.

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Formulating Strategy

The paper explains how strategy can be formulated for a firm. The approach treats firms as a bundle of assets, in the spirit of recent advances in the resource based view of the firm. The aim is to help executives who have a responsibility for strategy to construct a believable future direction for their firm.

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Strategy Making: What Have We Learned About Forecasting The Future?

Firms face uncertain environments characterized by shifting demographics, disruptive technologies, new industries and competitors and other challenges. To survive the tumultuous landscape, firm managers ”make strategy” by assessing the organization’s internal and external environments, questioning assumptions about how the world works and deciding how the firm should operate.

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Select Strategy Papers
 Strategy in Uncertain Environments Strategic Intelligent Cost Reduction (ICR) Building the Experimenting Organisation Simple Rules in Not For Profit Environments Beneficiary Doctrine in Not For Profit Organisations Strategy Diagnostic Workshop Generic Strategies: A Substitute for Thinking? What Does Value Mean and How is it Created, Maintained, and Destroyed? How the Resource-based and the Dynamic Capability Views of the Firm Inform Corporate-level Strategy Strategy Workshops and Top-Team Commitment to Strategic Change How to Determine Your Future Resource Creation Processes Tacit Knowledge - Some Suggestions for Operationalization Top Management Ownership of the Strategy Problem Formulating Strategy Strategy Making: What Have We Learned About Forecasting The Future?


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