Senate Hall Academic Publishing

Journal of Strategic Management

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ISSN: 1649-3877

Listed by: Cabells and EBSCO

Frequency: 1 online Volume per year


A Lecture on the Treatment of Uncertainty in Strategy

JSME vol 1 issue 1

Author(s): Hamilton Helmer (Strategy Capital, USA)

Substantial uncertainty is manifest in many of the most valuable opportunities facing a corporation. Despite this, Strategy has been unable to significantly contribute to realizing this value, so making Strategy relevant to these situations is a high priority. Incremental improvements in the current practice of strategy development within corporations will not work, since an implicit assumption of lack of uncertainty is embedded in their methods. Instead an entirely new approach is warranted. The first step in developing this new approach is the recognition that the most important domain of uncertainty in corporations is "transforming", i.e., the development of new businesses. Focusing on the nature of transforming reveals that it is necessarily an adaptive process that typically occurs over a long period of time. Developing formal strategies in the midst of this adaptation is of limited value, but, nevertheless, there is still the possibility of a vital role for Strategy. Strategy can serve as a cognitive framework to make on-the-fly assessments of correct direction and thus enhance the efficacy of this adaptive process, rather than serving as an on-going hindrance. This new role for Strategy requires extensive teaching of Strategy to those, many of them frontliners, charged with transforming. This important new use of Strategy puts a demand on the discipline to nourish constructs that can be expressed in a not overly complex way, so that they can be retained as a framework not as programmatic detail.

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