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How Organizations Make Informed and Timely Strategic Decisions

30 April, 2017

In June 2016, a slim majority of the British voted for Brexit – to leave the European Union. The following month the Australians re-elected the Turnbull government by the slimmest majority possible – one seat. Then in November the Americans elected Donald Trump President even though most of them didn’t vote for him according to the Fake News.

Any of these strategic events could have gone the other way. Which would have produced very different policy outcomes.

Organizations face so much change today.  New products and new technologies – how will Amazon affect product retailing and distribution?  Commodity prices and exchange rates – what will the price of oil be over the short, medium and long-term? New government regulations – how will new immigration laws affect the availability of skills? What are our competitors, customers and suppliers going to do? How do we win?

The only system that most organizations use to stay informed and think through these issues is a system that was designed for the 1960s – Strategic Planning – an ‘intermittent’ process of strategic analysis that produces a ‘batch’ of strategic decisions and actions.

That’s not the way the world works now - organizations need to make strategic decisions continuously throughout the year. 

By now we should have moved from the industrial to the digital age. We should be using the technologies and work methods that are available for Strategy today.


Today, the Internet contains a wealth of external strategic information and data provided by government bodies and industry associations that they provide free of charge and keep up-to-date. Mostly relating to external opportunities and threats.

Similarly, organizations’ databases contain a wealth of internal strategic information and data. Mostly related to internal strengths and weaknesses.

And as disruptive as it sounds, the cloud provides a collaborative environment to gather, store and display that information.


A collaborative environment where that information can be enriched by an organization’s own observations, views and ideas.

We’re not talking about a Facebook that is for social purposes. We’re not talking about an intranet that is for general business purposes.

And we’re not talking about the old way of engaging directors and executives in strategy. Where the executives stated what they intended to do in a Strategic Plan and the directors approved it. Where their focus was on the executing and the governing, and not on strategy at all.

No, we’re talking about a purpose built collaborative tool that is used to continuously gather, store and display strategic information and data. That organizations use to create their strategy. That they use to continuously make informed and timely strategic decisions. 

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