Strategy in Action: Stay Oriented and Dont Go MAD

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In Disruptive Times, Stay Oriented and Don’t Go MAD

  • “To generate sustainable value, strategic opportunity-risk, capabilities and catalytic actions must continuously align with and within conditions.”
    • – The First Principle: Strategy in Action

The end game of robust strategic thinking is to continuously generate sustainable value. Anything else is a very poor second.

Generating sustainable value requires the constant alignment of of strategic opportunity, risk, capabilities and action with ever-changing conditions. Such alignment, if managed appropriately, will stand the test of time through seasonal change, and disruptive change. This alignment is at the heart of SiA and forms the basis of the first principle.

In fast changing and complex environments the alternative is not pleasant.

Failure to align usually shows up as unexpected change. This places organisations and their people in the unenviable position of constantly hitting the wall, having to bounce back and start all over again — with few lessons learnt and a dread of disruption and fear of the future.

  • In SiA this is known as the Crash Test Dummy Syndrome.

The Crash Test Dummy Syndrome is always present when organisations are in a cycle of blind adaptation to unexpected disruption. They ‘go lean’, downsize, price cut and work harder at what worked in the past — all in a very well managed manner. This serves very little purpose other than mimicking the proverbial frog in the bucket of water that gradually boils. The frog continually adapts to increasing temperature until it is too late to jump out.

Think Kodak, Blockbuster and the many other organisations that became masters of their own well-managed destruction — resigned to comfortable patterns of behaviour until it was too late to feel the real impact of the increasing heat.

  • In SiA this is referred to as Managed Adaptive Decline, or MAD for short.

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