The World of Strategy

by Ananth Swaminath

The world of strategy confronts two fundamental challenges:

  • Industry disruptions and unpredictability
  • Companies’ lack of flexibility

Unpredictability is an external phenomenon, and therefore not controllable.

Flexibility is an internal capability, and therefore more controllable. 

The core problem in business strategy design lies in how a firm can respond to changes in its ecosystem. Firms must be prepared to shape-shift and design strategies – to become agile, nimble and most importantly resilient. 

However, business strategy must not be viewed as a long drawn-out exercise. In the post-covid digital world, business strategy becomes a business function – where firms must be able to take quick, yet well planned, measures to grow and counter competition. 

Byte-sized strategies therefore become the norm rather than the exception. How can firms create quick byte-sized strategies that address one or two opportunities that become immediately visible in the marketplace? Can firms afford the luxury of time to respond to such emerging opportunities? 

Large organisations are better prepared to weather storms due to the availability of both talent and resources. They can hire leading management consultants paying top dollar. However, the small & medium businesses cannot afford such consultants and neither do they possess in-house capabilities. Furthermore, cash is always a scarce resource. How do SME’s respond to this? How can they build this capability internally? Can they do so at a reasonable cost? And how quickly can they create designs that helps them tap into continuously emerging opportunities? 

To elucidate the problem, here are a few examples from large, traditional industries that have been completely disrupted by technology and innovation:

  • Drug Discovery: Initially the domain of large pharma companies. Today, drug discovery has been transformed into an algorithm-driven simulation solution that can test the efficacy of drugs on human pathways using a computer program! An industry that used to spend tens of billions of dollars can now initiate drug discovery cycles at a fraction of the cost. 
  • Automotive: Again, a traditional industry that has not altered its business model or processes for decades. Today, all you need is computer algorithms and some outsourced capability to design and launch a brand-new car! Human intelligence is being coded into software using AI and other disruptive technologies. Traffic data and geo-positioning data is analysed real-time. Car navigation is therefore automated leading to a new breed of driver-less cars. And the body of the car simply gets outsourced. And on a different spectrum of the auto industry, EV’s has created a new revolution replacing fuel. 

The degree of predictability in the above two industries was so large that incumbent firms simply did not pause to think “what if”. But lurking under the lure of predictability, was an entire ecosystem that was bustling with activity and ideas using modern-day solutions that could potentially disrupt the industries in the most radical way. And yes, it did happen. Industry evolution was predictable, but internal flexibility was fairly rigid – and incumbent firms were blindsided. 

Choiceboard™ solves these complex problems at the click of a mouse. It provides you solutions that can help you ideate and envision, design and create quick solutions, simulate and experiment with various scenarios, compare and contrast competitor straggles and help you outthink your competition.

Choiceboard™ brings strategy into the hands of firms, employees and students – democratising the playing field once and for all. 

Ananth Swaminath
Ananth Swaminath

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