Accomodating strategy

Emergent strategy implies that an organization is learning what works in practice.

Given today’s world, I think emergent strategy is on the upswing.  Here’s why.

” Fair point, nevertheless, it seems that strategy has shifted in the last decade to where the planning school no longer has the street cred it once had.It is precisely because we cannot, try as we may, control the variables that factor into business decisions that Mintzberg’s emergent strategy is so useful.Porter’s ideas are still relevant, my colleagues and I still teach them, so I still believe in them and when I talk to corporate CEOs they still use them as part of their strategy planning thinking.  But they are getting a bit long in the tooth for today’s different world.  Henry’s emergent strategy ideas simply seem to be more relevant to the world we live in today – they reflect the fact that our plans will fail.Both have been very influential in the study of strategy, an area of considerable interest to many readers.  You can contrast their two views as Porter’s taking a more deliberate strategy approach while Mintzberg’s emphasize emergent strategy.   Both are still taught, in fact, I taught Porter’s 3 Generic Strategies and his 5 Forces Model not two weeks ago in an undergraduate strategy course at Mc Gill.  Which is most useful today?The world of deliberate strategy is one that I remember well from my days as a corporate manager at IBM and then as an executive teacher at Oxford and LBS.  It was a world of strategy planning weekends at posh hotels in the English countryside, where we sat in rooms discussing the 5 Forces in our particular industry and what would we change in the model if we had a fairy's magic wand.

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