Published on Oct 20, in Issue - October This seven-step method, developed by the authors, involves applying creativity to a scientifically rigorous process to enable teams to generate novel strategies and to pinpoint the one most likely to succeed. Conventional strategic planning is driven by the calendar and tends to focus on issues, such as declining profits or market share. As long as this is the case, the organization will fall into the trap of investigating data related to the issues, rather than exploring and testing possible solutions. A simple way to get strategists to avoid that trap is to require them to define two mutually exclusive options that could resolve the issue in question.
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Many managers feel doomed to trade off the futile rigor of ordinary strategic planning for the hit-or-miss creativity of the alternatives. In fact, the two can be reconciled to produce novel but realistic strategies. The key is to recognize that conventional strategic planning, for all its analysis, is not actually scientific-it lacks the careful generation and testing of hypotheses that are at the heart of the scientific method. The authors outline a strategy-making process that combines rigor and creativity.
A team begins by formulating options, or possibilities, and asks what must be true for each to succeed. Once it has listed all the conditions, it assesses their likelihood and thereby identifies the barriers to each choice. The team then tests the key barrier conditions to see which hold true.
From here, choosing a strategy is simple: The group need only review the test results and choose the possibility with the fewest serious barriers. After testing the barrier conditions for several possibilities, it opted for a bold strategy that might never have surfaced in the traditional process: reinventing Olay as a prestigelike product also sold to mass consumers.
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Bringing science to the art of strategy
Article Harvard Business Review September Lafley, Roger L. Martin, Jan W. Rivkin and Nicolaj Siggelkow. For all its emphasis on data and number crunching, conventional strategic planning is not actually scientific.
Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy
Leaders rarely succeed in marrying empirical rigor and creative thinking. Many managers feel doomed to trade off the futile rigor of ordinary strategic planning for the hit-or-miss creativity of the alternatives. In fact, the two can be reconciled to produce novel but realistic strategies. The key is to recognize that conventional strategic planning, for all its analysis, is not actually scientific—it lacks the careful generation and testing of hypotheses that are at the heart of the scientific method. The authors outline a strategy-making process that combines rigor and creativity.