Does Your Strategy Have a Spine?

Top 10 Trends You Should Be Thinking About in 2019

Your future matters. The building blocks of your success– people, products, partnerships, brands, operations, capabilities, culture, customers – must work together in concert as part of a strategy to define your future.

Future and strategy

Your future and strategy are linked at the hip! My mantra has always been to seek alternative viewpoints and lenses to help you achieve what you want for your company.  Today I want to expand on Strategy.

I have followed Dr. Kaihan Krippendorff since reading his book The Art of the Advantage: 36 Strategies to Seize the Competitive Edge. More recently his book Outthink the Competition: How a New Generation of Strategists Sees Options Others Ignore has been key in broadening my perspective on Strategy. He is the founder of Outthinker, a former McKinsey & Co. consultant, and author. He helps companies compete in a digital, agile, purpose-driven future.

His Outthinker group has just published an insightful article: Top 10 Trends your Chief Strategy Officer Should Be Thinking About in 2019. They summarize what Chief Strategy Officers (CSOs) of many of the world’s leading companies are most concerned with now – the ideas, concerns, and concepts.

Critical trends shaping tomorrow

Here are the top 10 trends they came up with. Read the full article to learn more about these concepts and how they were shared through conversations with CSOs.

Technology acceleration. Technology is being adopted – by your customer, your employees – at an accelerated pace. It indicates that we are being thrust into an era defined by an unprecedented pace of change.

New forms of competitors. It was once easy to draw a line around your “sandbox.” But the boundaries are blurring. Today, massive pools of investment are fueling well-funded start-ups.

A shift in mindset from competition to customer. A new mindset has been rising over the horizon, one in which competition matters less.

New purposes for M&A. The role of M&A is evolving. Increasingly it is being seen as a path to reinvention.

Timing. As the pace of change accelerates it becomes ever more critical to get the timing right.

New forms of coordination. Successful firms are experimenting with new forms of organization moving away from control to coordination.

Purpose. Corporate social responsibility is increasingly viewed as a façade by your customers. They expect your business model to fundamentally be good.

Culture gets real. There is a repeated desire by management to better understand how to manage culture both in a practical way and for practical ends.

Managing time horizons. Organizations have always had to balance the short-term with the long, the activities that secure your core business today,

Activating employee-driven innovation. Forward-looking strategy officers are seeking, and finding, new ways to activate innovation broadly throughout their organizations.

What next?

These concepts are an excellent starting point to update your SWT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Trends) analysis for strategic planning. Contact me to learn more.

I leave you with a quote from Dr. Krippendorff:

“To stay ahead of the pace of disruption, you and your CSO need to think beyond the current limits of language, understand the emerging concepts that will shape your future. Hopefully these 10 trends will give you a starting point. If you are not thinking about them, you risk being left behind.”

All the best

© 2019-2020 David Paul Carter. All rights reserved.

Dr. Kaihan Krippendorff is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Management & Technology Program. Kaihan has spent more than a decade studying the intersection of language, technology, and innovation to drive competitive advantage. He earned his BS in finance from Wharton Business School, BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, MBA from Columbia Business School, and Doctorate of Science in Economics from Abo Akademi.

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