Factors Affecting Strategy Development
- Overview of Factors Affecting Strategy Development
- Types of Business Models That Affect Strategic Planning
- Matching R&D to Business Industry Segment
- Types of Cultures That Affect Strategic Planning
- Sources, References and Selected Bibliographic Information
Overview of Factors Affecting Strategy Development
Causes of New Product Failure
By way of introduction, picking the best strategy depends on what type of business you are in. But before we get started we need to take a look at why one would worry about new product development strategy in the first place. The case for putting in a solid strategy is to increase the chances of new product successes. When looking at the causes of new product failure shown in the “Causes of New Product Failure”, one sees the dramatic effect that elements of a good strategy can have.
Impact of Factors on Timeliness and Profitability
This work was updated in the 1990s and 2000s. The “Impact of Factors on Timeliness and Profitability” figure shows the important effect these factors related to strategy have.
For Timeliness, the number two and number three items, “upfront homework” and “market orientation”, relate to strategy. For profitability, good strategic planning clearly influences the number one factor, product advantage, as well as once again, market orientation, the number 2 factor.
Frequency of Various Activities in New Product Projects
Now as to the causes for why the difference in project success rates is a function of some of these above elements, the answer seems to be in the variability in the activities shown in the . However when looking at the frequency in which those elements occur in new product projects, one sees significant variability in the “Frequency of Various Activities in New Product Projects” as shown in the figure.
Some elements related to project success jump out. For example a detailed marketing study and market research was only done in 25% of the projects and test marketing and trial selling only occurred in 22% of the projects. However, before throwing too many stones at marketing and business development one should note that only in half the projects was trial / scale up production tried before launching into full-scale commercial production. Clearly thinking about strategic elements of product development would improve the success rate.
Future Watch Processes
At a higher strategic level, many authors have written about strategy and the strategic planning process. Some like Thomson and Strickland have advocated a rigorous process, while others like Mintzberg promote a more evolving process. All of them agree on the need for understanding the future business environment. A list of approaches to do so is shown in the “Future Watch Processes” figure. It is not necessary to conduct all these future watch analytical methods, but sooner or later even stable industries change. By using each of these methods in at least a cursory manner, an organization stands a better chance of capitalizing on change by proactively responding to it.
Performance Impact of Product Innovation Strategies
In some of his early work Bob Cooper looked closely at the causes of success and failure new product development (He came up with a famous stage gate model to address that deficiency, a model we will talk about later). Though his work he identified five strategy scenarios for new product development. They are summarized in the “Performance Impact of Product Innovation Strategies” figure. What was interesting is that a balanced strategy outperformed all the others when he looked at each performance element in great detail.
Having made a case for a balanced strategy we need to determine for each kind of business what that might look like. To put this on a solid foundation one has to go all the way back to components of a business model.
Generalized Business Model
There are many different views of what a business model comprises. Chesbrough and Rosenbloom, Hamell, Linder and Cantrell, Petrovic, Kittl et al., Weill and Vitale, Gordijn, Afuah and Tucci, Osterwalder, Fetscherin and Knolmayer, are just a few of the many who’ve proposed such models. For our work the model proposed by Osterwalder in 2004 provides a good framework on which to start our discussion. His model is shown in the “Generalized Business Model” figure
Business Model Elements
A more visual way to think about business models in this manner is shown in the “Business Model Elements” figure. From a Canvas the information it contains evolves into Patterns which evolve into Designs which then evolve into Strategies and finally Implementation Processes as shown graphically in the “Business Model Elements” figure.
The nine building blocks of a Business Model Canvas are the key activities, key partners, key resources, cost structure, customer relationships, customer segments, value propositions, channels, and revenue streams. These are graphically laid out on a Business Model Canvas which resembles a painter’s canvas as shown in the “Business Model Canvas” figure.
A Business Model Canvas works best when printed out on a large surface so groups of people can jointly start sketching and discussing business model elements using post-it notes or board markers. It’s a hands-on tool that enhances understanding discussion, creativity, and analysis.
The next step in creating strategies from business models is to look at the Business Model Canvas and look and see how the elements on that canvas might be similar to the five basic business models found for most entities. These models can serve as a source of inspiration for refining the specific business model an organization is working on. The five patterns typically found in business models are Unbundling, The Long Tail, Multisided Platforms, Free, and Open Business Models.
Three Core Business Types
The first business model pattern, Unbundling, involves taking the three core business types often found in one business entity and splitting them out into separate organizations. This can be shown in the “Three Core Business Types” figure.
The second business model pattern, Long Tail, is about selling less of more: they focus on offering a large number of niche products, each of which sells relatively infrequently. Aggregate sales of niche items can be as lucrative as the traditional model wherein a small number of bestsellers account for most revenues (80/20 rule). Long Tail business models require low inventory costs and a strong platform to make niche content readily available to interested buyers. Specialty businesses for specific components of antique cars or specialized fishing tackle are examples.
The third business model pattern, Multisided Platforms, brings together two or more distinct but interdependent groups of customers. Such platforms are of value to one group of customers only if the other groups of customers are also present. The platform creates value by facilitating interactions between the different groups. The Multisided Platform grows in value to the extent that it attracts more users, a phenomenon known as the network effect. Examples of this can be Visa, Google, eBay, and Apple.
The fourth business model platform is Free. In the free business model at least one substantial customer segment is able to continuously benefit from a free of charge offer. Different patterns make the free offer possible. Nonpaying customers are financed by another part of the business model or by another customer segment. Examples of this business model are Flickr, Open Source, Skype, Google, and free mobile phones.
The last generalized business model platform is Open. Open business models can be used by companies to create and capture value by systematically collaborating with outside partners. This may happen from the outside-in by exploring external ideas within the firm, or from the inside-out by providing external parties with ideas or assets lying idle within the firm. Examples are P&G, GlaxoSmithKline, and Innocentive.
Business Model Strategy
Once a business model and business model pattern is understood, customer insights are gathered and ideation begins. This is supported by visual thinking, prototyping, storytelling, and scenarios. From this design and canvas work, strategies are developed by looking at the industry forces, key trends, market forces, and the macroeconomic forces surrounding the business model canvas. This is shown graphically in the “Business Model Strategy” figure.
The Six Forces Affecting a Business
This model has built upon Andy Grove’s version of Prof. Michael Porter’s Five Forces that determine the competitive well-being of a business. What Andy added to Michael’s five forces of competitors, suppliers, customers, potential competitors, and the possibility that a product or service can be built or delivered in a different way, was a six force of complementors. This is shown in the “The Six Forces Affecting a Business” figure.
Complementors are other business from whom customers by complementary products. Each company’s product works better and sometimes only works with another company’s product. For example automobiles and gasoline represent complementary products and the companies to produce them are complementors. The trick is that sometimes companies that were complementors try out new techniques, new approaches, and new technologies and then those entities strategies diverge from yours. An example is how automobiles are now switching from gasoline to electric power.
Strategic Inflection Point Examples
Andy in particular was always on the look-out for competitors that were causing a “10X” change in the business model. Walmart taking out Mom & Pop stores as an example as shown in the “Strategic Inflection Point Examples” figure. To spot these changes early the “5 second silver bullet” test was used; if you only have one bullet which competitor would you use it on. The answer is what pops up within 5 seconds of asking people in an organization. When the answers take longer or start to change you know your approaching an inflection point and need to adjust your strategic plans accordingly.
Technology Management Processes
Another view of all elements needing consideration for strategic planning is shown in the “Technology Management Processes” figure. Importantly in this view, is the role of considering Protection Issues needed to sustain an advantaged position over time, as well as ensuring new products and services have legal freedom-of-action.
Strategies also need to incorporate design elements as shown in the “Development Functions vs. Messages” figure. Even if the company’s new products and services support emerging trends they also need to embed appropriate languages and consequently convey coherent meanings. A visual illustration is shown in the “Semantic Dimensions” figure. By innovating only in the semantic dimension of a product, it is possible to introduce incremental design driven innovations. However as shown in the figure, radical design driven innovations can be introduced by combining the identification of innovative meanings embedded in new products with research on new materials, surface treatments and engineering processes. An example of this is a bookshelf that is not smooth but is instead characterized by little bubbles. This is not a defect but a technological solution to give an impression of softness both to the eye and to the touch. It is not easy to achieve this aspect because was necessary to convince the extruder to introduce a sort of imperfection. Companies that operate in the furniture industry, an industry were collaboration practices with external designers are usually considered as a benchmark, can also provide useful insights for those companies that are moving their innovation strategy from a closed approach to an open one in line with the general trend towards business ecosystems and the adoption of a Connect and Develop paradigm.
Key Tools of the Blue Ocean Strategy
Companies across the globe constantly search for strategies to catapult their organization to a greater share in the markets in which they compete. In many cases, companies take on a survivor mentality where they outspend their competition only to find those companies quickly retaliating with the same tactics and ultimately driving down the value of the entire category. The Blue Ocean strategy approach challenges companies to find new, unique factors to compete on to derive value innovation. By way of jargon Red Oceans represent all the industries in existence today. Companies try to outperform their rivals to grab share, and as the space gets crowded, opportunities for profits and growth are reduced. Products become commodities, and the competition turns bloody. Blue Oceans can be created in the midst of Red Oceans. Key is to drive value innovation: make competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value / price by choosing different factors on which to compete. In the “Key Tools of the Blue Ocean Strategy” figure, the overall strategic perspectives are outlined.
From a process standpoint, the first step is to create a strategy canvas that identifies the market, companies and competitors currently involved. Then the next sub-step is to create company profiles that illustrate the importance of these products to each company’s overall objectives. Next use and define the factors that each competitor competes on in the given space, focusing on the critical success factors that truly drive the market. Finally individually rate each factor on a numeric scale. These sub-steps allow a team to capture the current state of play in the market, the factors the competitors compete on, and what competitors receive from their level of investment.
The second step is to review the company profiles and strategy canvas and make appropriate adjustments or clarifications. The third step is to evaluate all the current competitive factors and determine which factors can be eliminated, reduced, or raised. In this step, the challenge focuses on determining what factors can be eliminated or reduced, as the team must drive out some cost to have the funding available to create a new value innovation. The fourth step is to brainstorm a list of unique factors to create. These must be new factors to the category, not just new for the Company. The create factors should fuel accelerating growth by offering the potential to pull nonusers into the category.
A final word on strategic planning is to remember the advice of Annie Duke, a professional poker player. Her book on Thinking in Bets which describes how to make smarter decisions when you don’t have all the facts contains sage advice.
Likewise it is good to remember how to tell stories with data. The book Storytelling with Data shows in great detail how to communicate effectively with data. The goal is to use data to create engaging, informative, compelling strategic planning stories.
Drivers of Change Identified by ASAE ForesightWorks
Concluding this section on factors that affect strategic planning is the list contained in the “Drivers of Change Identified by ASAE ForesightWorks” figure. These drivers, identified in 2017, typically evolve over five year periods and are thus useful as checks on strategic planning processes to ensure known drivers are accounted for in company plans.
In the work done at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, four basic business model archetypes were defined. These were Creator, Distributor, Landlord, and Broker. From each of these basic archetypes 16 specific models were developed depending upon what type of asset was involved in the transaction. These are shown in the “Business Model Archetypes” figure.
Looking at this particular matrix and thinking about new product and service development one can see opportunity for new business strategies in each matrix element. This is in contrast to the view before the 1990’s. Prior to this time one might say that when you are talking about innovation you are talking about the column related to physical assets. These were of the type that had been protected by patents, and around which most R&D laboratories have been built. Financial instruments were starting to come into their own for many years but certainly became prevalent in the late 1900’s. Likewise in the late 1990’s intangible assets started to have more importance with the advent of IP brokers and patent trolls. These changes expanded the business models available for utilization.
Industry versus Technological Maturity
Other organizations have also studied business segmentation as it applies to technology strategic planning. The first example of this comes from Philip Roussell who with Arthur D. Little published in PRISM in the summer of 1989 the matrix shown in the “Industry versus Technological Maturity” figure. This matrix relates industry maturity to technological maturity. The scale on both axis is associated with the maturity of either the industry or technology. The scale ranges from embryonic to growth to mature to aging. This corresponds to the typical technology or business maturity curve which is the S-curve from the Boston Consulting Group discussed earlier. In the example shown, the circles represent different technological investments. There is a cluster of business strategies for this particular company, with industry maturity more dispersed than technological maturity.
Such a distribution of maturity corresponds to typical Incremental innovation. What we’re looking for now however is both breakthrough innovation and next-generation innovation. Projects that would fall under this category would be in the upper right quadrants of this matrix. Here embryonic technology would be taken into a mature or aging business to create a new business S-curve (a new growth potential and profitability for an existing business). On the other hand there are not many cases of good businesses in the lower left-hand quadrant of this matrix. However when one looks at the opportunities for geographic expansion, many mature and even aging technologies can be advantageously taken to today’s embryonic industries in Third World in developing countries. The skill to do this has more to do with technology transfer and innovation management however. The reason for showing this graph is that when one starts to look at planning technology strategies that are integrated well with business strategies, a matrix like this often shows a business team what it is that they are starting from and what stage of development their industry and technologies should be moving to in order to line-up with one another. It also can highlight the opportunity for new growth driven by technological innovation.
Relationship Between Technology and Product Market Portfolios
Another useful look between technology and product and market portfolios is shown in the “Relationship Between Technology and Product Market Portfolios” figure. This viewpoint, originally constructed by Bain & Co., is actually two major risks stacked one on top of the other. The top matrix shows the relative technology position between a leader and follower from a technology standpoint, and whether it is a research or development initiative. The bottom matrix shows the relationship between high and low relative market share positions, and high and low growth business areas. By stacking the two matrices one on top of the other, one can then see which research or development initiatives are supporting which market in area.
Typical Market Entry Strategies
The need for such a visualization tool is it that the typical market entry strategies vary by type of industry and companies capabilities. These are shown in the “Typical Market Entry Strategies” figure.
Pathway (1) is that of a technological leader is going to be first to market. Pathway (2) is that of a technological acquirer who also wants to be first to market. Pathway (3) shows a pathway of a research follower that has the capabilities to be a strong developer who is looking to be first to market. Pathway (4) is that of a technological follower with a strong marketing thrust. Pathway (5) is also a technological follower but with a weak marketing thrust. Pathway (6) shows how a company with minimal technology capability can acquire leadership positions early. Pathway (7) shows a minimal technology company acquiring a follower position early by picking up the appropriate technology from others. Last strategy (8) is that of a company having minimal technology but acquiring a follower position late.
The importance of using such matrixes is to test whether the pathways proposed by technology and marketing groups match with the capabilities of the company. Clearly the CEO and chief technology officer need to staff the R&D organization, the business development organizations, and the intellectual property licensing groups differently depending upon what the needs and capabilities are. Marketing must also be taken into account because marketing groups need to have the ability to build new brands into high-growth leadership positions. This is very different from traditional product managers and marketing managers that do not have this capability, where they can simply follow the lead of others in capturing low share positions. Making sure that these pictures are self-consistent early in the strategic planning process can save many millions of dollars of wasted effort when the capabilities really don’t match what a company has.
Posture for Product Lines
A similar matrix, but shown in a different form, is shown in the “Posture for Product Lines” figure. This matrix relates the marketing group strategy, to the product line needs, to type of technology needed. Again this is a test for consistency.
Product Line Strategies
The contour lines shown on the matrix show the technology posture for each of the general areas. It is a particularly useful in large companies as its products are going through their life cycle and maturity curves. Again this matrix allows one to look both inside and outside the company to test for consistency. The “Product Line Strategies” figure is a way to look at the traditional functional responsibility for typical strategies for each section of the graph.
These strategies can be put in a tabular form tied to the eight R&D games (discussed below). Again these matrices tie product line strategies to R&D strategies and RD postures. Double-checking ensures that alignment is consistent throughout the different functions of an organization. It first glance this may seem like wasted effort to conduct and tabulate this information but through the Industrial Research Institute benchmarking work it was found that many companies have problems in this area despite their best efforts over many years. An example technical strategy summary is shown in the “Technological Strategy” figure.
Product Portfolio Imperatives
Another way to look at R&D project portfolios as they relate to market factors is shown in the “Product Portfolio Imperatives” figure. This matrix plots the relative market share that a company has vis-a-vis other competitors versus the market growth rate of the business.
The reason this matrix is so powerful is it really speaks to the type of clout that a company has in the marketplace and points out in very specific terms to R&D the type of project that they have to invest in. If there are multiple competitors in a market, a company typically has a relative market share of maybe 10 to 30%, and if the market growth rate is very high what it says is that the company must invest in maverick research to win or get out. This means investing in breakthrough technology. Incremental or lightly funded next-generation research is not going to get the job done. Looking critically at R&D projects on this type of a graph clearly shows were mistakes are being made in matching R&D projects to business needs. The “Examples of Type of R&D on a Product Portfolio 2×2 Matrix” and “Enhanced Examples Of Type In R&D On A Product Portfolio 3×3 Matrix” figures show this in R&D terms.
These graphs have been used by many companies to critically assess R&D portfolios. It also helps General Managers who are running existing businesses think whether it’s appropriate to fund R&D organization’s incremental work. If they truly need to penetrate a new market the work must be breakthrough. Likewise when companies enjoy large market shares versus other competitors in high growth markets there is sometimes a tendency to shift to incremental R&D. This is inappropriate. What’s really required is solid offensive next-generation work.
Situations also exist in the bottom left corner of the quadrant where a company has a dominant position in the market compared to competition, but the market has become mature. Here general managers tend to over fund R&D. Again this is inappropriate behavior. What they should be doing is funding only defensive incremental R&D, just as it’s needed, to hold market share.
We also need to remember that “Entrepreneurs” who starting their own companies, almost by definition need to have specialized business model, business and technology strategies. In such cases the examples shown in books like “Toward Entrepreneurship” provide good guidance. They tend to focus upon a solid integrated business plan whose main focus is a clearly worded Differentiation Strategy.
A corollary to this type of individual is the “Independent Contractor”. They utilize the strategies of “Entrepreneurs” along with those of a “Professional Services Firm”. To have an advantaged sustainable Independent Contracting business, a clear, thoughtful business and differentiation strategy is critical.
Another special class of companies with specialized business model, business and technology (know how) strategies are Professional Services Firms. The required make-up of the organization (the relative mix of juniors, managers, and seniors) is primarily determined by the skill requirements of its work; the mix of senior level, middle level, and junior level tasks involved in the projects that the firm undertakes. Consider three types of client work: Brains, Grey-Hair, and Procedure projects.
In the first type of Brains projects, the client’s problem is at the forefront of the profession or technical knowledge, or at least is of extreme complexity. The key elements of this type of professional service are creativity, innovation, and the pioneering of new approaches, concepts or techniques: in effect, new solutions to new problems. The firm that targets this market will be attempting to sell its services on the basis of the high professional craft of its staff. In essence, their appeal to the market is, “Hire us because we are smart.” The second type of Grey-Hair projects, while they may require a highly customized output in meeting the client’s needs, involve a lesser degree of innovation and creativity in the actual performance of the work than would a Brains project. The general nature of the problem to be addressed is not unfamiliar, and activities necessary to complete the project may be similar to those performed on other projects. Clients with Grey-Hair problems seek out firms with experience in their particular type of problem. In turn, the firm sells its knowledge, its experience, and its judgment. In effect, they are saying, (hire us because we have been through this before; we have practice at solving this type of problem.)” The strategy here is to employ more juniors to accomplish the background work.
The third type of project, the Procedure project usually involves a well-recognized and familiar type of problem. While there is still a need to customize to some degree, the steps necessary to accomplish this are somewhat programmatic. The client may have the ability and resources to perform the work itself, but turns to the professional firm because that firm can perform the service more efficiently, because the firm is an outsider, or because the client’s own staff capabilities to perform the activity are somewhat constrained and are better used elsewhere. In essence, the professional firm is selling its procedures, its efficiency and its availability: (hire us because we know how to do this and can deliver it effectively.)” Companies whose strategy is to undertake Procedure projects usually have the highest proportion of junior to senior individuals.
The strategic challenge for professional service firms is to carefully monitor the type of work it undertakes and make sure that it has the right mix of Smart Brains, Gray Hair, and Junior staff for the workload. Since people’s knowledge and experience vary over their careers, the strategic challenge for professional services firms is also (1) clarity on the work they do and (2) extraordinary human capital management.
The final special types of business needing specialized business models are the Professional Societies or Non-Profit Organizations. Professional societies are perhaps the business model that is being most challenged by Internet and social networking technology changes. Continued on-the-job education and mentoring needs were, in the past, fed by professional society in-person meetings. With the advent of online blogs, webinars, and courses as well as professional networks on Facebook and LinkedIn, the needs once served by professional societies are being addressed at a much lower cost and more conveniently than in the past. The current generation of workers is demanding a return on investment unlike any other generation that has come before them. In order to have a solid membership business model an association must have a very specific niche that it serves. This is not a one size fits all world anymore. The second major strategic element is for associations to have positive, engaging, inclusive, service oriented cultures. Finally the dues element of the business model has to be commensurate with the income level and value members get from the Association. A robust member benefit package, quality and quantity, has to be present and meet members workplace problems in a positive emotion building way.
Summary of Kondratiev Waves
In addition to different type of businesses needing specialized strategies, all businesses need to keep their strategies up to date with the latest trends affecting them. In the current Schumpeter or Kondratiev Wave, as shown in the “Summary of Kondratiev Waves” figure, there are three new insights for competing as Wave 5 transitions to Wave 6 (a resource limited world). These insights for strategic planning are (1) waste equals opportunity (using waste of one process for value added uses in others), (2) sell the service, not the product (go after “job to be done”), (3) connect the virtual and natural worlds (Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence), and (4) atoms are local, bits are global (source natural goods locally, but information globally). An excellent source of ideas on the economic impact of this next wave can be found in “Freakonomics” .
Since the R&D Games of Innovation is such an important way to understand many of the strategic options a company has this work will be discussed in more detail. The work was done at McGill University in Canada and found that there were eight games of innovation typically played by corporations with large R&D programs and technical product development. These eight games are summarized in the “Eight Games of Innovation” figure.
Reorienting R&D for a Horizontal Future
The reason for going to such lengths to understand business models is that when one formulates a strategy it is very much dependent on the type of business you are in. Past work has failed to make this distinction and as a result some of the generalized findings of earlier studies are confusing and conflicting. Breaking business, technical, and intellectual property strategies out into the elements highlighted by these innovation games allows greater clarity as to what an appropriate strategy is for each business, technical, and intellectual property component. This is shown graphically in the “Reorienting R&D for a Horizontal Future” figure. Here integrated manufacturers are finding that they moving towards becoming three separate innovation organizations that are centric to customer value, product value, and production. Each organization is thus playing its own “game”.
Refocusing of Innovation by Large Integrated Manufacturers
The outcome of large companies refocusing their efforts is also changing the way innovation is managed. When companies are vertically integrated their strategies are focused up and down the value chain from base materials, to components, to modules, to subsystems, through to finished products. This is seen in the “Refocusing of Innovation by Large Integrated Manufacturers” figure.
In the early 2000’s vertical and horizontal innovation systems existed. This mix has been evolving towards a horizontal landscape were many base materials suppliers will be accessed through open innovation discussed later in this book, as well as many suppliers at the component, module, and subsystem level. This changing organization clearly affects one’s innovation strategy.
Before getting too discouraged with the diversity of models is important to think of the similarities between them. Basic strategy and project management methodologies for business, technical, and intellectual property do exist across the eight innovation games for old vertically integrated and newer horizontally integrated models alike. It’s these common features that we’re going to work on and highlight in this book. Nuances come about from companies playing different games of innovation. The R&D and IP nuances described in the later chapters can most easily be understood by remembering the R& D game being played.
For each successful company built on innovation there are thousands of other struggling to replicate the innovative DNA enjoyed by companies like Apple and Google. Frequently, companies try to copy outstanding innovators, but the efforts never catch on, and quickly become morbid and end up engendering cynicism. Research by IBM Global Business Services and Innosight has shown the fallacy in the assumption that successful innovation will come simply by replicating the approach used by successful innovators. The reason for this is that there is no single archetype of innovation, and companies get into trouble by trying to replicate characteristics that are not natural to their own business. Success comes by following one of the four successful archetypes of innovative enterprises as shown in the “Innovation Archetypes” figure. When embarking on strategic planning it’s important to make sure that the leadership, staff, processes, environment, are all in place. If not, successful execution of new strategies is likely to fail.
In large companies there may be various innovation archetypes in use by business units in different industries. From a corporate standpoint the overall strategic planning process for a diverse organization is shown in the “Strategic Planning Process” figure. In this process the organization first looks at where they are today. It then looks at the future through each Division’s eyes. The advantage a large organization has in participating in various industry segments is the opportunity to look for consistency, opportunities and gaps that may be visible to one Division in one industry but harder to see in others. From these inputs, project priorities for a corporate research group are created by using radar maps to assess fit, return, costs, and capability. Once projects are selected they are tracked on “time in stage” status maps.
A final note on the organizational elements of strategic planning has to do with the integrated Strategy Crafting approach. As shown in the “Strategy Crafting” figure, this is a continuous iterative process touching all parts of an organization’s human capital. Crafting is a curious blend of virtues and skills: two parts sheer dedication and persistence, two parts dexterity and skilled artistry, and one part pure imagination. Crafting strategies is about using personnel skilled in innovation and design thinking to augment traditional planning teams.
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