The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them
— Albert Einstein

Uncertainty

Uncertainty is ubiquitous; that hasn't changed. But we face far greater levels of volatility, ambiguity and complexity. That is reducing confidence in forecasts and projections of the future.

Resilience

Anticipating the future is one thing; developing resilient strategy that will adapt to a range of plausible futures is another. We can show you how.

Interdependence

Interconnected global networks enable transmission of good things and bad; and amplification of risks as effects combine in unanticipated ways.

Conflict

The nature of conflict is changing and it can strike unexpectedly, even in normally untroubled jurisdictions. Resilience and preparedness for conflict imposes new strategic requirements.

 
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
— Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1775
 

Industries develop 'patterns' of competition; emerging technologies and disruptive competitors are no respecters of tradition. Firms can change or be changed.

Globalisation
 

Today, few firms compete solely domestically; tomorrow even fewer. Industries are no longer 'national'. 

Competitive intensity

Technology is redefining the boundaries of industries without respect for historic performance.

Emerging technologies

New technologies will alter existing industries in radical ways. But that does not mean firms cannot predict trends in technology.

Disruption
 

Firms are facing disruption to their business models from all parts of the competitive network, as well as from outside it.

 
Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.
— John Kenneth Galbraith

Each firm is unique. While it may face opportunities and challenges that are common to its industry or to all firms, its unique mix of people make it different from every other firm. This makes the notion of transferable 'best practice' a problematic concept. Each firm must find a solution that fits its circumstances and its mix of people.

Capabilities

How will your capabilities shape your strategy and how must those capabilities change over time to reflect your strategies? And how will you achieve that? 

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Structure

Corporate legal and organisational structure impacts how responsive firms can be to risks and how readily they can change. Firms must also settle how structure relates to accountability.

Information

Ultimately, how the firm gathers, collates and uses information about its environment and markets and about itself determines how well it can respond to its challenges and opportunities. Even what the firm views as information and as valid sources of information and chooses to translate in to knowledge will craft its understanding of its strategic options.

Performance

Across all domains, firms seek to manage performance. How firms define performance in relation to its objectives will impact where the firm allocates resources and how it drives results, including through systems to manage its people. 

We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.
— Anaïs Nin
It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.
— Abraham Maslow

Culture

Lately, culture is the new black. Firms are exhorted to 'embed an effective culture' and to manage culture actively, even instrumentally. But that is far easier said than done. Firms have multiple sub-cultures, many of which can influence behaviour and decision-making.

Decision rights

How a firm decides to set strategies, allocate resources, acquire capabilities, to monitor performance and to act will determine what it does and how it does it. Who decides what, when, how and even where, matters. Decision rights are not only practical settings of power and influence within the firm, they have significant symbolic impact.

Motivation

When firms' sources of advantage are knowledge-based, how the firm motivates its people matters. How the firm recognises, encourages and rewards performance is critical to executing strategy sustainably

Narrative

Far more than just a document for defining direction, strategy should be an ongoing process of gathering information, reflection, setting direction and action. Critically, strategy should provide a narrative motivates and influences the choices and actions of the firm's people.