Corporate Strategy (Remastered) I: High Performance Strategy and Leadership in a Volatile, Disrupted World Hunter, P. Routledge, Oxford, UK, 2020
This book provides an introduction to the SMI’s articulation of strategy; referred to as Third Wave Strategy. Its construct is grounded in a dynamic and fully integrated, strategic management framework (known as a Third Wave Strategy framework and illustrated below). As a foundation book it is grounded in extensive empirical strategy research. Its content represents a fresh, holistic, dynamic, and systemic approach to strategy in a format that, frankly, hasn’t existed before. Readers will benefit from an appreciation of the management of strategy in post Covid world and an emerging environment of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Of course, no construct will deliver an all-encompassing solution on its own. Considerable insight is offered into the human aspects of strategic management; thinking, engaging, evaluating, transforming and analysis. Examples of topics addressed in each section of the framework – and the strategic thinking that supports it are explained and discussed in this volume. They include:
Long term strategy
- A structure for strategy praxis; a Third Wave Strategy framework (above)
- A Strategic Architecture; the structure of long term strategy
- A strategic intent: the fundamental and underlying purpose of long term strategy, but not the underlying purpose of the organisation
- An integrated value system; the combined effect of a systemic mechanism within which advanced strategy operates; it is made up of a Dynamic Market System and Core Competence Platform
- SMI model of strategic equilibrium: a depiction of a strategic architecture within the dimensions of a trade off between Inside out and Outside in strategic options
Short term strategy – strategy evaluation
- Strategy evaluation, shaping and reviewing: an act of strategic thinking that achieves a balance between instrumental action in strategy formation (shaping) and experiential action from implementation (reviewing)
- Strategy Blueprint: a construct similar in format to a Strategic Architecture made up of outputs from a Strategy Narrative;
- Strategy Narrative: a description of short term strategy – regularly updated and established in a format that replaces the static strategic plan;
- Strategic change agenda: purpose of short term strategy; “A snappy, sharp description that sums up the driving force behind a specific program of strategic change to depict its purpose”
- A program of continual strategy renewal: a mechanism guiding the implementation of strategy;
- A Strategy Performance Measurement, Management, Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism; the foundation upon which strategy monitoring and strategy renewal is based
- Plausible strategic alignment touch points: a means to ensure alignment between all elements of strategy, Inside Out, Outside In and in many other forms and formats.
Future strategy practice
- Green shoot strategy: a method of evolving new businesses and potentially new industries altogether
- Corporation of the Future: insight into what the corporation may look like some 20 to 30 years hence
Cognition, behaviours and strategic change
- A foundation for advanced strategic change: response as an adaptation to ‘what is’ and prosponse, the invention of what ‘could be’;
- Systemic, cognitive strategy practice: an approach to strategic thinking at a depth of thinking sufficient to tackle the most wicked strategic problems;
- Organisational learning: a stalwart of strategy practice and potentially a key enabler of strategy renewal; and basis for the capture and dissemination of critical strategic intelligence
- Open strategy practice: an agile and all-inclusive approach to the practice(doing) of strategy
- Communities of Strategy Practice (COSP); a collective of enterprise wide practitioners and contributors to strategy across the organisation
Volume II: Corporate Strategy (Remastered) II: A Fieldbook, Implementing High Performance Strategy and Leadership
Hunter, P. Routledge, Oxford, UK, 2020
This fieldbook represents a ‘how to’ of Third Wave strategy formulation, evaluation, strategic change, strategic thinking, strategy implementation and alignment. Its value lies in its ability to relate and demonstrate theory to practice in a factual and experiential format. Its content describes the methods and means to ensure the concepts described in in Volume I can be successfully applied to practice. With a focus on making strategy work this volume introduces readers to the practical application of Third Wave Strategy tools, techniques, systems and processes as well as many of the soft/human elements of strategy and leadership – the primary components that make it work.
In particular, this fieldbook describes steps taken, and third wave strategy practices applied to enable the CEO of an imaginary company Third Wave Industries (Tw-I), Security Printing and Packaging Division (SPPD) to take her team on a journey of organisational transformation and renewal. SPPD is portrayed as a business that is currently underperforming and essentially operating in state of inertia. The new CEO is charged by the board to transform it into a High Performance Organisation through the application of advanced strategy and leadership practices.
The first step in the journey is the conduct of a strategy evaluation, shaping exercise, that of scenario analysis. The purpose of the exercise is not to try to predict a future outlook for SPPD per se, but rather, create variations of what it might look like some 20 years hence. Once established the leadership team and other stakeholders are provided with a foundation upon which open dialogue and a common language of the future can be evolved. From there, the topics of conversation provide a foundation for the strengthening of leadership, better strategic decision making, enhanced community engagement, stronger teams, reframing and obtaining buy in. Several iterations of short and long term strategy are explored in each chapter as greater hindsight, insight and foresight is applied to strategic decision making.
Each are supporting the transformation journey which is ultimately conducted in the form of an ambidextrous organisation. This is one that has one team working on restructuring ‘what is’ and another on a transformation to a new, prosperous and ultimately regenerative platform of what the leadership would like it ‘to be’. The key objective is to establish a business that is representative of a Hyper, High Performance Organisation. The foundation for the story and indeed all strategy practice, the Strategic Architecture is illustrated below.
Corporate Strategy (Remastered) I and II may be purchased from the publishers, Routledge at:
The Seven Inconvenient Truths of Business Strategy identifies the enormity of shortcomings from our consistent over use of the 1960’s designed, static Strategic Planning regime as a viable management tool. Its emphasis however is very much on the return of relevance to strategy and the ways and means to do so.
The book introduces a systems based approach to the conduct of strategic management, and has the benefit of being comprehensive, but at the same time is entertaining and easy to read. It follows an extended case study of the chocolate maker Cadbury to provide a narrative and illustrative application of the techniques and solutions proposed.
In particular, it introduces and explains the construct of a fully integrated Strategic Management Framework. That framework encapsulates a collection of definitive principles that act to provide a structure to strategy, in a format that is representative of a literal reinvention of strategic planning overall. The framework is grounded in strategy theory, but deployed as an integrated, aligned and interactive management system.
The book provides insights into the collaborative techniques for carrying out the integrated nature of the system successfully: formation, evaluation, alignment and implementation. It also addresses elements of strategic thinking, leadership, stakeholder engagement and of course, elements of strategy as a profession. Other topics include strategic governance, communication, leadership, learning, management of teams, agile strategy, organisational transformation and the treatment of strategic risk.
"We know a lot about effective strategies, but little about effective strategizing where Paul Hunter's hands-on approach to the art of making strategy is a great leap forward. Finally a book that helps practitioners "reinvent strategic planning" to make it work in the 21st century"
- Ron Meyer, Tilburg University, Center for Strategy & Leadership, The Netherlands
"Having had many roles in and around strategy execution for many clients, as well as the reality of leading strategy development for our own organisation, I can attest to the shortcomings as described in Paul's book. His very useful advice for how to make the process far more effective, including tackling dominant logic and traditional thinking, will be hugely valuable to anyone involved in the creation of strategy, which in today's world, is most people."
- Sammy Kumar, Enterprise and Strategy & Transformation PwC, Australia
SMI has contributed to a number of academic resources, publications, seminars and conferences including:
- Raising the Bar at Mars Corporate University (Chapter) in “Rademakers., M. Corporate Universities: Drivers of the Learning Organization, Routledge, Oxon, UK, 2014”.
- Strategic Revitalisation: A Business Model of Innovation and Growth (Doctoral dissertation)
- Singapore Management Review “Contemporary Strategic Management Practices in Australia”; and, “Back to the Future, Strategy in the 2000’s”
- Strategic Management Practice in Australian Organisations Survey
- Strategic Management Society Special Conference, Sydney, December 2014: ”Strategic Management in the Asian Century – Dealing with Dynamism, Diversity and Development”.
- ANZAM Conference “The Conduct of Business Strategy in Australia”
- Strategic Management Society: Presented a paper in November 2006 Conference in Vienna; Topic: Back to the Future, Strategy in the 2000’s