Make your strategy resilient

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How to Prepare for a Black Swan in strategy+business offers good advice to assess exposure to disruptive events, but misses key elements a strategy can and should cover.

In summary, the advice is [1] map the firm’s operations, supply-chain and sales channels [2] list potential disruptions [3] ask ‘what if’ these happen [4] set up contingency plans. Work on risk in utilities shows several additional strategy responses are both possible and desirable.

  1. Reduce the risk that an event will actually cause ...
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Sense-and-Adjust – and Create

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It Makes Sense to Adjust in strategy+business describes a simple process that any decently-led organisation should be using:

  1. “sensing” to detect changes and assess their likely impact, then
  2. “adjusting” policies to keep the strategy and performance on track.

Some sensible examples illustrate the approach, such as anticipating staffing needs in a cyclical business – though one wonders what on earth the companies discussed were doing before if they didn’t do this! It contrasts sense-and-adjust with reactive styles (do nothing until forced to) ...

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Where’s the Board?

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We’ve seen a few gung-ho CEOs mess up, especially but not exclusively in banking, but ‘Boards of Prevention‘ in strategy+business asks what the heck the supervisory Board is doing to let such nonsense happen. If they are not warning about risk, they are just overhead. Though the article largely focuses on risk in banking, some simple principles seem more generally useful [let’s call them ‘threats’ to generalise beyond banking]:

  • Give the Board an explicit threat manifesto – how to assess and respond to threats to the business ...
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IT & Enterprise Architecture

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strategy+business explains how IT works best when tied closely to business goals, which using an Enterprise Architecture  helps ensure. Though the article explains little of what exactly an EA is, there’s plenty on the Web about it, including professional training and certification. An EA seems to rely on having a sound foundation of an ‘Operating Model’ of the business, which in turn ties together strategy maps, goals and policies.

But how do we ensure that operating model is indeed rigorous? I would start from ...

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