Evolution of Strategy

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Evolution of Strategy
Andrew Blaine, Business Consultant, South Africa

Having re-read the introduction to "Emergent Strategy" I ask if it has not been misnamed? I raise this question on the following grounds:
1. Identification of strategy in business is an evolutionary process - it cannot be forced;
2. The time required to formulate a strategy varies according to a number of factors including:
- The state of business in the market place;
- The needs of the entrepreneur(s) involved in creating the business; and
- The financial demands of the business and availability of these funds.
3. In my opinion, the identification and definition of the business "aim" or "end-state".
For these reasons, I suggest that emergent strategy should rather be referred to as either "emerging strategy" or "strategic evolution".

Another (my) View of Emergent Strategy
Denis Hitchens, Business Consultant, Australia
Dealing with 'emergent' is fraught since so many views are held of the condition. I take a simple working definition view that emergent events are 'sometimes' events.
By that I mean, they don't always happen and so may not be relied upon to act as the cause for a desired effect, and as the summary suggests, these conditions arise from the entanglement of manytimelines of many variables which just happen to occur.
While emergent events may prevent specifying a 'probable' future; they do not stop outlining a 'preferred' future. Which can be done at anytime by recording the aims/desires of the enterprise.
Emergent strategy therefore in my view becomes the skill of dealing with these unknowns which by definition fit the character set of a complex adaptive system.
Such planning is informed by both static and dynamic complexity and as you suggest is improved over time, but rather than meeting evolving conditions meets the unpredictable, sometimes events which just happen to occur.



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