Great strategists are like scientists – they test success theory and use evidence to develop better strategies: Jesper B. Sorensen

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Jesper B Sorensen He teaches at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business (GSB). talking to creation friend maid, he explains what makes great business vision — and how to build best strategy To get this:

What is the core of your research?
My recent research is on the strategy process in organizations and how leaders can align their strategy with execution, with more clarity about how their strategy will drive their success.

How do you define the company’s strategic vision?
Its leaders see this as a future state of the world that their organization can help meet. Great organizations help in bringing about social change. More environmental sustainability, less emissions and less inequality can be part of the world view a company would like to see. A compelling vision is very inspiring. Much of the excitement around Tesla stems from the story Tesla tells about itself and what it is trying to achieve. A strong vision is highly motivating and gives people a sense of direction.

However, a successful organization needs more than just a compelling vision – it needs clarity on how to get there and specific choices ranging from investments to activities. Strategy is the roadmap for a company to reach its destination.

What is your insight into creating a sustainable successful strategy?
My colleague Glenn Carroll and I have co-authored a book called ‘Making Great Strategy’. We argue that at the core of all sustainably successful strategies is a logically coherent strategy logic. We view strategy as a logic or a way of linking causes to effects and inputs to outputs. If you think of a strategy like that – as an interconnected set of actions, investments and enabling conditions – you can see how each company’s strategy is unique. By studying their strategy, you can learn why, for example, Walmart has been so successful. In our book, we outline how you can build your ability as a business leader to formulate, modify, and implement your strategy logic. It involves developing a set of tools we call ‘strategy mapping’ or visualization that lists all the connections between the different things your organization does and how they can achieve the desired results. This can be very helpful and it helps leaders to think through the logic of their success.

Are there case studies of such effective strategy-making?
Apple is a very disciplined and capable organization strategically. We often think that the companies we celebrate today started with a strong idea of ​​how they would succeed and that’s why they succeeded. But, really, great companies start with an initial plan, execute it, evaluate how it pans out, go over the results and update your understanding. great strategic leaders are scientists – They have a theory about how they are going to win. When they go to the market, they test that theory and use the evidence to revise and develop a better strategy. In the late 1990s, Steve Jobs didn’t have a clear vision of the iPhone revolution. It came with a series of experiments – some worked, some didn’t – summed up the commitment to learn from these experiences and incorporated the lessons into Apple’s logic of success.

How important is innovation here?

This is important – innovation is how you respond to competitive threats and identify new opportunities. But innovation is also how you respond and drive change. Often, organizations can become frustrated if they feel they are not generating enough new ideas. We emphasize in our work one aspect of how to manage the innovation process – a good innovation process must have a divergence phase and a convergence phase. The initial divergence phase is all about expanding your horizons and generating many wild and crazy ideas inside your organization. However in the next step, as a leader, you find that you cannot implement all these ideas. You need to start picking and filtering for more detailed ideas and investments – this is an important but less appreciated stage in the innovation process.

This is generally done by a manager thinking about the market demand for the product, how it will be produced, rate of return on investment, etc. If you apply those criteria too early, you could end up crushing innovation. The people who came up with these ideas think that next time, they should bring the boss something they like – it turns out to be the opposite of being innovative. So, at that stage, people need to be more careful and find ways to validate themselves for those who offer new ideas.

Views expressed are personal


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