there are advantages and disadvantages to developing strategies incrementally
In reference to the explanations given in illustration 12.3, there are advantages and disadvantages to developing strategies incrementally. By adjusting the strategy, a little over time, the big picture to strategy change will eventually become crystal clear. Small changes will lead to a large change over time. During those small changes the company’s strategy can stay relevant. Without those small changes, there may be too much environmental change that does not allow the current strategy to keep up. That is where the strategic draft can happen. Also, no one is able to predict the future or how trends or environmental change will affect business. So just like in chess, companies must make their best moves based on what they believe the other player will do. This allows them to use data and trends to negotiate the marketplace. The disadvantage of incremental change is that it might not be enough. Small steps over time might lead to a large gap due to strategic drift that is too much for a company to come back from.
Incremental strategy is very likely to result in strategic drift. When companies are highly successful, it is easy for them to stick with the same strategy and avoid any major changes that would upset their customers or their shareholders. Also, when change does happen it may still stay focused around a general theme and not have much variation from the original plan. These two situations can result in a company experiencing the strategic shift because they did not make drastic changes when they needed to. Many companies that failed to go digital or start advertising on social media face this situation. It is often very hard to stay true to who you are, but also continue to be successful without losing your original customers. This is why, in the article, one of the quotes mentions that no one can know the future, so you have to hire the best “brains in the industry”. I have always heard that you can’t always be the smartest person in the room, so you have to surround yourself with the people who are the smartest. – CURT
In my opinion, all strategies will be affected by strategic drift. However, when implementing an incremental strategy, organizations can alleviate the negative impacts by providing clear and broad initial guidance. The initial guidance is broad enough to promote growth and ensure all actions and activities fall within the established guidelines through the corporate governance. In the military, commanders establish their broad guidance prior to staff planning. With a common understanding the organization works towards the problem set, without a clearly defined strategy. This enables to organization to eventually develop the strategy or set of objectives that enable the organizations success. -RON
Logical Incrementalism is a strategy employed by using experimentation and learning. Unsinging the understanding of environmental uncertainty, organizational general goals, and experimentation, organizations can become profitable and end up on the leading edge of the product or service they are attempting to provide. Using this strategy, the benefit is listed as an improvement in the quality of information an organization receives, such as feedback, or buyers wants and needs, and this can lead to better decisions being made. The only negative of this strategy that I can see, is misinterpreting the information and developing a product or service that will ultimately be unsuccessful. This downfall could be described as strategic drift and results when an organization does not acknowledge changes within the product environment.
Now, I could be way off with the comparison I am about to make; however, I believe successful Cell Phone company’s explore logical incrementalism in their production strategy. Take Apple, or Samsung for example, they look to understand the environment their customers operate in and experiment by bring out new products, they stay true to their goals; however, they are incrementally adaptable to the changing world. First flip phones were the thing, then small phones, then touch screen, then large touchscreens……. Successful organizations who use Logical Incrementalism have proved it to be a great strategy; however, organizations like Nokia, who did not have a strong understanding of the environment uncertainty’s, ended up falling victim to strategic drift and ultimately becoming a thing of the past. Thoughts? – EDWARD
I think one of the main advantages of developing strategies incrementally is that the company as a whole will learn from the “experimentation” which is taking place. I am currently working outside of my typical career field, in a security management position. Since I am not a security expert, it seemed overwhelming at first. After a few months of getting into the swing of things, my bosses began to give me more challenging tasks. Failure was an option with these tasks, but I was given the opportunity to do things in a manner that I thought was the best. Experimentation is a great learning tool for both young and seasoned members of the team. If you try something and it works, it builds your confidence. If you try something that doesn’t work, you figure out the flaws and improve the process. With incrementally built strategies, there is always the possibility of failure. Any time a known good process is changed, there is a possibility that the changes will cause issues. This can be a disadvantage, but the team will also learn about the process as a whole.
I don’t think incremental strategy development will necessarily always cause strategic drift. Businesses are currently in an ever-changing world, which is why I think the experimental outlook on strategy is beneficial. The only way to improve a process is to try new things. When you try new things, you will most likely be put into a position where you need to think on your feet. If young team members are placed in positions where they have to come up with solutions on the fly, then some of them will grow into leaders that can avoid strategic drift. -HONEYCUTT