Models help Behavioural Strategy (BS)

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BS says complex data, mental biases and emotions make good strategy choices hard to achieve, but these are not ‘givens’ or independent. An interesting debate at EURAM among academics who have studied these issues for decades rather implied

  • … that our ability to make sense of complex information is fundamentally limited (especially in Strategy with its multiplicity of elements and interconnectedness) … but it can be radically improved by better representation – even simplistic Balanced Scorecards help a lot.
  • … that biases are simply ...
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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 68: ‘Policy’ to control strategy

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Given the very wide range of performance outcomes that can arise from small differences in key decisions in examples from earlier briefings, a disciplined approach to decision-making would seem valuable. We previously described the strategic architecture of resources as “the machine” designed to fulfill the organization’s purpose, and like any machine, this one too needs a control system if it is to perform well.

The machine analogy is more complex when human behaviors are involved, because unlike the physics of mechanical ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 67: Steering strategy and performance

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Although it is common to distinguish strategy development from strategy implementation, it is not generally advisable to develop strategy first, then switch to implementing it. Not only is it impossible to know everything in advance but conditions continue to change as events unfold. Our strategy will also cause competitors and customers to respond, giving rise to new challenges and opportunities, so the chosen strategy will inevitably need constant review.

This steering and adjustment of strategy should be handled with care, though. ...

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Evidence-based decision-making

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We all know this ideal is far from reality, but in Is Decision-Based Evidence Making Necessarily Bad?, Sloan Mgmt Review offers 3 levels to define the role of evidence: 

  • to make a decision – when data really does lead to a decision
  • to inform a decision – when other factors such as judgment and bargaining play a role too
  • to support a decision – when data is looked for that confirms the decision, and crucially, when disconfirming evidence is avoided or rejected.

They ...

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Facts on MBA relevance

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Strategy and decision-making simply get too little attention, according to latest solid evidence on this topic, in an academic paper too. How Relevant Is the MBA? [details below] took the simple but powerful approach of comparing the content-mix of 373 MBA programs with the managerial requirements specified in companies’ competency models. Over-weighted and under-weighted content were …

Too much:

  • logistics and technology
  • managing the task environment
  • administration and control [nearly 2* too much]

Too little:

  • managing people
  • decision-making [barely 1/2 the required emphasis]
  • strategy and innovation [barely 1/2 ...
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