THE STRATEGY LENSES
The four lenses are introduced more fully immediately after this chapter and will provide the framework for separate commentaries on each of the three parts of this book. This section introduces them brieﬂy as follows:
Strategy as design. This takes the view that strategy development can be ‘designed’ in the abstract, as an architect might design a building using pens, rulers and paper. The architect designs, and then hands over the plans for the builders actually to build. This design lens on strategy encourages a large investment in planning and analysis before making ﬁnal decisions. It tends to exclude improvisation in strategy development and underplay ...view middle of the document...
New ideas bubble up through unpredictable and competitive processes. The variety lens therefore emphasises the importance of promoting diversity in and around organisations, in order to allow the seeding of as many genuinely new ideas as possible. Somebody with a variety lens would look for future strategies at the bottom and the periphery of organisations. They should be ready for surprises. Strategy as discourse. Managers spend most of their time talking, persuading and negotiating. They are always using language, or what is here called ‘discourse’. The discourse lens points to how command of strategy discourse becomes a resource for managers by which to shape ‘objective’ strategic analyses to their personal views and to gain inﬂuence, power and legitimacy. Treating strategy as a discourse focuses attention on the ways managers use language to frame strategic problems, make strategy proposals, debate issues and then ﬁnally communicate strategic decisions. For believers in the discourse lens, strategy ‘talk’ matters. The discourse lens tries to look under the surface of strategy to uncover the personal interests and politicking in organisations. Taking a discourse lens thus encourages a somewhat sceptical view.
None of these lenses is likely to offer a complete view of a strategic situation. The point of the lenses is to encourage the exploration of different perspectives: to look at the situation ﬁrst from one point of view (perhaps design) and then from another. These lenses help in recognising how otherwise logical strategic initiatives might be held back by cultural experience; in checking for unexpected ideas from the bottom or the periphery of the organisation; and in seeing through the formal strategy discourse to ask whose interests are really being served.
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCING STRATEGY
ned. co.uk/mys t rso
Strategy is the long-term direction of an organisation. A ‘strategy statement’ should cover the goals of an organisation, the scope of the organisation’s activities and the advantages or capabilities the organisation brings to these goals and activities.
Corporate-level strategy is concerned with an organisation’s overall scope; business-level strategy is concerned with how to compete; and operational strategy is concerned with how resources, processes and people deliver corporate- and business-level strategies. Strategy work is done by managers throughout an organisation, as well as specialist strategic planners and strategy consultants. Research on strategy context, content and process shows how the analytical perspectives of economics, sociology and psychology can all provide practical insights for approaching strategy issues The Exploring Strategy Model has three major elements: understanding the strategic position, making strategic choices for the future and managing strategy-in-action. Strategic issues are best seen from a variety of...