Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy

Opportunity or Threat

Modern world business leaders develop company strategies based on analysis of figures and other aspects that give the strategic alternatives. Organizations gather a lot of relevant information when it comes to strategic planning. Collection of data and analyzing the same makes organizations feel that their strategies are good since they are perceived to have gone through a scientific process. However, this is not the case since business leaders do not welcome the process of strategic planning with warm arms. On the other hand, strategic planning has very little impact on company activities yet it takes a lot of time.

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Since scientific methods are supposed to increase efficiency and take a person to another level, the strategic planning method applied by modern day organizations can be termed as ‘antiscientific’. Managers are always faced with the trouble of measuring alternative strategic planning techniques and conventional methods. However, it is possible to incorporate all the strategic planning methods into one in order to come up with a more effective strategic planning technique. This is what the article refers to as ‘scientific’ strategic planning. The scientific method has seven stages and involves adequate testing of strategies in order to come up with a suitable strategy. It aims at solving the current strategic planning problems facing the modern business world.

The first step in the new strategic planning method is ensuring that solutions to the company problems are tested. This step is aimed at analyzing aspects of all strategic options available and how to improve them in order to make them satisfactory options. This helps strategists avoid the trouble of analyzing the problems faced by an organization. Instead, it emphasizes on getting the viable solution other than getting a better understanding of the problems faced by an organization. Before pursuing this strategic planning method it is important to understand that the company has to make a choice and that every choice has its effect. After coming up with the best strategic options, it is important to establish the conditions for prosperity. At this point, the strategists look at conditions surrounding the organization. This is followed by determining the best conditions and relating them to the available strategic choices. This stage is important since it helps determines whether or not a strategic option is valid i.e. it will have the required impact on the organization and its goals. Analyzing the validity of an option involves getting opinions about a given strategy from different parties. Therefore, the person who has suggested a given strategy should dominate the discussion about the viability of an option.

The fourth stage is aimed at determining those conditions that are likely to limit the success of a given strategic option. This stage involves seeking opinion from managers on which strategic option is likely to be successful. All conditions must be considered no matter how minor the number of people who support or question the condition is. It is vital to understand and include the attitude of each member during the choosing process. This is because, if a manager’s option or attitude is not considered it may cause problems in the end and he/she may not support the option during analysis. The main aim of this strategic planning process is to come up with the best option. Therefore, it involves testing a number of available choices. After determining the obstacles to a given option, the fifth stage is testing the obstacle conditions. This will involve getting out of the company and seeking consumer or customer opinion on the topic. This analysis is important since it gives the grounds for rejecting or accepting a given strategic option. A manager who is more doubtful about the strategic option being tested should create the test, which shall be submitted to the market.

This step involves carrying out the designed tests. In this step, the option that managers think will not work is tested first. It is important to involve external parties in this stage since it helps in making critical decisions about the testing process. These persons are not part of the team that makes strategic decisions for the organization. It is important to make sure that their participation is completely restricted to testing nothing else. Therefore, there is no revisiting conditions or options that were dropped in the course other steps. This ensures that the testing process is cheaper compared to other conventional strategic analysis options. After tests are completed, the management team can now select the suitable strategy. Unlike in conventional methods, this is the easiest process since it involves picking the option that has fulfilled the set test conditions.

In conclusion, this process of selecting a strategy is more effective and could be an opportunity for companies to solve their strategic management problems. This is because, it provides an organization with a chance to simplify and make the strategic planning option cheaper and more effective. This is by offering a technique that helps managers select strategies that will bring success to the organization.


Works cited

Lafley, Roger, Martin W. Jan W. Rivkin, and Nicolaj Siggelkow. “Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy”. Harvard Business Review (2012, September) 1-7.


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