Category Archives: Cultural Strategy

Strategic Planning is more than Gap Analysis

Strategic planning is more than just gap analysis. What’s more, there is no single accepted definition of what it is.

Some say that its a top down approach, a rational approach. Others say its fluid, that the macro environment is the major determinant. Still others have a organization-centric resource-only based view toward strategic planning.

What’s your view? What’s your approach?

Is yours & your organisation’s approach to strategic more of a cerebral, formalised, top-down. Or is it more entrepreneurial. That its the visionary leader who “will take us there”.

So, given then that the word “strategy” is derived from the Greek word “Strategia”, meaning “art of war”, the implication is that its part art, part science. Part feel, part intentional design.

And given that strategy has to do with the direction of your organisation & its scope of activities, what are the questions you need to be asking? What are the timelines you are talking about? How much information do you need for you decision making process?

What are your values?

What then is your vision?

For, it all flows from your vision


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Different approaches to strategy

There are different ways of approaching strategy, some using tool-based analysis and others by management sitting around thinking about it. So, here are the ten approaches to strategy (from the “Sloan Management Review” and the “Ansoff Strategic Management Research Institute”)

Cognitive (mental)

  • H.A Simon & J.March
  • Strategies develop as frames, models & maps
  • The cognitive biases in strategy making

Cultural (collective)

  • E.Rhenham, R.Normann
  • Common interest & integration
  • Strategy formation is a process rooted in culture

Design (conception)

  • P.Selznick
  • SWOT analysis
  • Senior management thinks about strategies

Entrepreneurial (visionary)

  • Schumpeter, AH.Cole, etc
  • Like the design school: based on the CEO
  • “every organization needs a visionary leader”

Environmental (reactive)

  • MT.Hanna, J.Freeman, DS.Pugh
  • The limits imposed upon an organization, contingency theory
  • Not strictly strategic management

Learning (emergent)

  • CE Lindboim, M.Cyert, JG.March, KE. Weick, JB.Quinn
  • Strategies are emergent
  • Strategy making as a learning

Planning (formal)

  • J.Ansoff
  • Not cerebral like “Design”
  • A formalized “design” approach

Positioning (analytical)

  • Purdue University
  • Reduced to analysis of industry positions
  • Impetus from Michael Porter

Power (negotiation)

  • GT.Alison, J.Pfiffer, WG.Astley
  • Two aspects of power: internal, political
  • And external: over partners, alliances, etc

For more, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, or review my IT-centric blog.