Strategic Management is the act of behaving and thinking strategically. This includes the management of the systems and processes by which the strategic capability of an individual, organisation or entity of any nature is formed, managed, conducted, deployed, reviewed and renewed on a continual basis.
In introducing the concept of strategic management we stress that we treat strategy as a living system, not just that of a static, end to end process. When addressing the management of a strategy system we feel it is important to understand the two dimensions of change that are of relevance to fundamental systems behaviour:
- a responsive change is one that is evoked when an unexpected opportunity or trauma has arisen, or is about to arise within the systems internal and/or external environment, and;
- a prosponsive change is invoked when it is deemed appropriate to launch an initiative designed to invent a new system altogether.
Described as the act of behaving and thinking strategically, Strategic Management is concerned with:
- the management of the systems adaptive capabilities that are put in place to protect the firm's capacity to respond to unseen or unexpected change, and
- the invention, design and launch of prosponsive initiatives that will contribute to the transformation of an organisation and ultimately its continued survival.
In the practice of Strategic Management we encourage the strategist to take responsibility for the firm's capacity to both evoke and invoke strategic decisions as a fundamental requirement of that organisations capacity to maintain its source of sustainable competitive advantage. To do this at the level of a profession, the Strategy Manager must provide the leadership team (and others as appropriate) with access to content that will allow them to: identify, measure, manage and report on a continual basis those things and events that are, or at the least are considered to have the potential to be of strategic concern to the immediate and future success of the business.
To be of relevance, content provided by the Strategy Manager will cross three dimensions of time:
- The past: strategic decision making today will be considerably enhanced when informed by relevant, accurate and unbiased knowledge from the past ideally generated from a formal organisational learning system. This is supported by informal processes enabling the interpretation and reinterpretation of hindsight
- The present: provision of constant and continually updated information concerning:
- the monitoring of progress towards the implementation of strategic decisions already taken as well as,
- the continual monitoring of risk factors including the potential consequence of emerging opportunities or threats that have the potential to positively or adversely impact the firm's immediate levels of performance; that is to continually boost the firm's capacity to respond to emerging insight
- The future: deliberate design of, and engagement in activities leading to the invention and implementation of new futures. This is enabled through knowledge inspired empowerment of key decision makers intent upon the prosponsive introduction of innovative, growth oriented opportunity conceptualised through intuition, and formalised through the combined measures of evidence and a strength in strategic foresight.