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Strategy according to Henry Mintzberg

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  1. Strategyaccording toHenry Mintzberg Business Strategy Business & Administration The University of Winnipeg

  2. The Strategy Concept I:Five P’s for Strategy,California Management Review Vol. XXX, No.1, Fall 1987 • Henry Mintzberg • McGill University

  3. “Strategy” can mean aPlan • Conscious, purposeful consideration in advance of future actions. Strategy => future actions • Does that mean any plan is a strategy?

  4. What makes a plan“strategic” • The time horizon it covers? • Its purpose / future implications? • The type of actions it covers? • The type of choices it implies?

  5. “Strategy” can mean aPloy • Short-term, specific-focus plan of limited scope designed to achieve a particular (usually competitive) result • For example, a negotiation strategy

  6. “Strategy” can mean a Pattern! • Consistency whether intended or not in a pattern of past actions! Past actions => implicit strategy!

  7. “Strategies are both plans for the futureand patterns from the past”- Henry Mintzberg, Crafting StrategyHarvard Business Review, July-August, 1987

  8. Planning and Realization • Strategies as plans are not always “realized” • Realized strategies are not always the result of a plan!

  9. “Strategy” can mean a Position • Organization’s relationship to its environment (markets and competitors) • What an organization stands for, wants to become, or just “is” • Air Canada – Canada’s National Airline • Amazon.com – the Internet-retailing portal • Wal-Mart – the lowest price place to buy almost anything

  10. “Strategy is a position … a means of locating an organization in … an environmentHenry Mintzberg, The Strategy Concept I: Five P’s for Strategy,California Management Review, Vol. XXX, No.1, Fall 1987

  11. “Strategy” can be a Perspective • A collective view of the organization itself and how the world around it works • For example: “The University of Winnipeg is a liberal arts institution. Access and Excellence are compatible goals.”

  12. Interrelating the Five “P’s” • An emerging Pattern can be recognized, and formalized into a Plan for the future • Strategy as Plan or Pattern can lead to a Strategy as Position and / or Perspective • A sequence of Ploys can become a Pattern • Perspective can constrain all the others

  13. The Strategy Concept II:Another look at why Organizations need StrategiesCalifornia Management Review Vol. XXX, No.1, Fall 1987 • Henry Mintzberg • McGill University

  14. Organizations need Strategiesto Set Direction • Strategy determines where an organization is going … • but shouldn’t become a straightjacket which completely precludes interesting side trips!

  15. Organizations need Strategiesto Focus Effortand promote Coordination • Strategy helps to get everybody “on the same page” pulling together over time and throughout an organization … • but shouldn’t preclude individuals from experimenting with new ideas!

  16. Organizations need Strategiesto Define themselves • Strategy helps to make an organization comprehensible … • but can something as complex as a (large) organization be summarized and well understood simply through statement of an abstract concept?

  17. Organizations need Strategiesto Define themselves • BCE Graphic

  18. Organizations need Strategiesto provide Coherence • Strategy helps an organization to make sense of its environment, and protects it against distraction so that it can get on with what it has decided to do … • which can be a bad thing if the environment changes!

  19. In summary..Organizations need Strategies.. • To set direction • To focus effort and promote coordination • To define themselves • To provide day-to-day coherence and help make sense of the environment • but too much of strategy’s benefits can be a bad thing!

  20. Strategy according toHenry Mintzberg • What seems to be the fundamental purpose of an organization in this approach to strategy?