After 10 years in senior strategy roles, including Retail Strategy Director at Whitbread PLC, I taught Strategic Management at London Business School for 20 years. Frustrated by the simple, static tools in the field (that few people use, because they are of limited value, I developed the Strategy Dynamics method, which focuses on improvements to the time-path of business performance that is so crucial to the concerns of investors and other stakeholders. The method also provides a sound basis for strategy development in public-service and non-commercial organisations. It is built on the rock-solid theory of system dynamics, which simply applies the principles of engineering control (which we use for just about all other complex systems!) to the engineering of strategy – the design, testing and management of business systems.
What this creates is an integrated, quantified, working model of any enterprise or issue, which represents all significant factors observed in the real-world situation, and tracks their interdependent behaviour over time, under any set of assumptions and policies you want to explore.
My first book, Competitive Strategy Dynamics : Wiley, July 2002 won the 2005 Jay Wright Forrester Award from the International System Dynamics Society (of which I was 2013 President) and has now been superseded by Strategic Management Dynamics : Wiley, 2007. The print-and-ebook Strategy Dynamics Essentials provides a simple, practical guide to the method.
With Christina Spencer, I have also developed a wide variety of simulation-based learning materials. Our course on Strategy Dynamics, and the learning materials that support it have been adopted by many universities world-wide. Most recently, to make it possible for non-specialists to build these living business models and analysis for themselves, I have worked with Chris Spencer to support development Sysdea – the easiest and most accessible software of any kind for dynamic modeling.
I am dedicated to providing professional strategy skills to executives and consultants at all levels. Collaborations with leading consulting firms extend the application of Strategy Dynamics principles, notably in corporate strategy, equity analysis, technological disruption and due-diligence for M&A and private equity deals. Consulting relationships enhance and develop the approach, with recent examples including Microsoft Inc, Visa International, BT plc, Barclays Bank, PWC and Deloitte, as well as public sector and voluntary organisations.
I have an engineering background, an MBA and PhD from the London Business School. My early career was spent in the oil and petrochemicals industry. In my corporate career, I designed the strategy to transform a threatened beer company into the powerful force in restaurant and hotel retailing that is Whitbread plc today. I then taught strategy to MBAs and executives at London Business School for several years before losing patience with the poor strategy methods available, and developing a stronger and more useful approach; Strategy Dynamics.