Emergent Strategy

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Summary

What is Emergence?

 

Emergent Strategy and Deliberate StrategyIn general, an emergent phenomenon occurs when a (high) number of simple (or complex) entities operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviors as a collective. Emergent behaviors occur due to intricate causal relations across different scales and feedback, known as interconnectivity. The emergent property itself may be either very predictable or unpredictable and unprecedented, and represent a new level of the system's evolution. Emergent behavior is very hard to predict due to the immense number of interactions between components of a system, which increases exponentially with the number of components, thus potentially allowing for many different results to emerge.

 

What is an Emergent Strategy? Meaning.

 

Emergent Strategy is the vision or process towards strategy formation in strategic management in organizations that emphasizes the benefits of letting the strategy emerge as things gradually becoming apparent. Try before you commit. Strategy is viewed as an ongoing process of constant learning, experimentation and risk-taking. It is an adaptive, incremental and complex learning process in which the ends and means are intertwined and often specified simultaneously. It is the opposite of Deliberate Strategy.


The ends are rarely announced or recorded in a Formal Planning document, and when they are, they remain broad, general and non-quantifiable.

The means develop or evolve over time as the organization learns from environmental developments and interactions.


It does not mean that emergent strategists do nothing upfront and react completely ad-hoc to things as they evolve.


Benefits of emergent strategy formulation. Advantages

  • Opportunism. Organizations must retain the mental freedom to grab unpredictable opportunities as they emerge. See: Scenario Planning

  • Flexibility. Organizations must keep their options open, by not committing to early to actions and investments. See: Real Options, Strategic Agility, Dynamic Capabilities

  • Learning. Letting strategy emerge provides the environment to learn. See: Organizational Learning

  • Entrepreneurship. The best way to find out what will work is to let people try. This is conducive to an entrepreneurial spirit to emerge. See: Chaos Theory

  • Building Support. Major strategic change causes considerable resistance in organizations. So time to build support for it is important. See: Appreciative Inquiry


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The Paradox of Deliberate and Emergent Strategy
Mintzberg and Waters (1985) state that few strategies were purely deliberate or emergent, but normally a mix of the two (...)
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2 comments
How do you Implement Emergent Strategy?
To implement an emergent strategy process, organizations need to:
1. Scan their environment constantly
2. Audi (...)
5
 
2 comments
🔥 NEW Emergent Strategy Allows Mistakes
Strategy isn't a collection of previous actions which worked well. We have to recognize, understand, and evaluate prior (...)
3
 
Emergent Strategy or Emerging Strategy?
Having re-read the introduction to "Emergent Strategy" I ask if it has not been misnamed? I raise this question on the f (...)
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1 comments
Not-for-profit Emergent Strategy
Do you think that this concept of strategy shaping is applicable for a not-for-profit organisation? (...)
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4 comments
Emergent Strategy and Serendipity
Emergent strategy is a new concept to me and one I have difficulty accepting it as realistic. Can anybody give me a succ (...)
1
 
2 comments

 

Best Practices

The top-rated topics about Emergent Strategy. Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.


Unrealized Emergent Strategy
Are UNREALIZED emergent strategies still valuable to an organization and its management? How? Thanks for your input... (...)
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11 comments

Definitions of Emergent Strategy
Emergent strategy, is a strategy that is not carefully pre-planned; it is discovered in the lack of purposes, or in an u (...)
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4 comments

Expert Tips

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How to Become a Self-tuning Enterprise: Advanced Experimenters

Organizational Agility, Strategic Agility, Real Options, Emergent Strategy
In an HBR article of June 2015, Reeves, Zeng and Venjara argue there's a new way to apply algorithmic principles that en (...)

Strategic Planning versus Strategic Thinking (Mintzberg)

Strategic Planning, Strategic Thinking, Emergent Strategy, Deliberate Strategy
According to Mintzberg (1994) many people wrongly consider Strategic Planning (SP) to be a synonym for Strategic Thinkin (...)

Entrepreneurial Strategies in Emerging Markets

Emergent Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Strategic Innovation
Chanvatipsakul and Wongsurawat (2013) examined the reasons why SMEs are successful in entering emerging markets while bi (...)
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Henry Mintzberg on Management and Emergent Strategy

Background on Mintzberg, Emergent Strategy Development.
McGill Professor Henry Mintzberg shares some background on his historic and recent thinking on management and strategy d (...)

Two Recent Trends in Leadership

Leadership Development, Leadership Styles, Coaching, Mentoring, Servant Leadership, Vision, Business Model Innovation
Business thought leader John Spence presents 2 important trends in leadership: BEHAVORIAL: Spence argues there is a mo (...)

The Nature and Complexity of Organizational Change

Change Management, Organizational Change
Presentation about organizational change. The presentation discusses and highlights the complexity and multi-dimensional (...)

Emergent Strategy versus Planned Strategy

Strategic Planning, Strategic Thinking, Emergent Strategy, Deliberate Strategy
Basic explanation of the key difference between planned strategy and emergent strategy. (...)

Top 5 Strategy Pitfalls

Strategy Errors, Strategy Traps, Strategy Barriers, Strategic Planning, Strategy Process
Strategy is complex and companies are making many mistakes while working on it. Stuart Cross identified 5 frequent strat (...)

Deliberate versus Emergent Strategies

Deliberate Strategy, Emergent Strategy, Strategy Formulation
Presentation about deliberate versus emergent strategies. The presentation includes the following sections: 1. Introduc (...)

Strategic Drift

Strategic Drift, Emergent Strategy, Deliberate Strategy, Logical Incrementalism
Short explanation of the concept of strategic drift, the reasons for its existence, and 3 historic examples. (...)

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Compare with: Deliberate Strategy  |  Logical Incrementalism  |  Strategy Dynamics  |  Chaordic Organization  |  Strategic Management

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