Setting Your Organization on a Trajectory to an Improved Future

All organizations are on a trajectory to a future: their default future. This is where they will end up if they take no action other than that currently planned.

Leaders are accountable for confronting this default future and taking the actions needed to set a trajectory to an improved future. Sounds easy, but the challenge lies in understanding the forces – both internal and external – that determine the current trajectory. Only then can strategic opportunities be explored, a trajectory of strategic intent defined and the conditions for turning strategic intent into operational reality put in place.

This book won’t tell you what your strategy should be, nor does it present a multi-step approach to developing strategy. What it will do is help you understand why developing and executing strategy remains such a challenge. It will also help readers understand the role they need to play at a personal level if they are passionate about leading their organization beyond its default future.

Foreword

BY DON TAPSCOTT

Over the last few decades strategy has been in and out of fashion – for many businesses that followed the trends, mainly out. During the early 1990s, strategy was replaced by ‘reengineering’ – a term invented by the late Michael Hammer that turned out to mean rationalization of business processes and cost cutting. During the mid and late 1990s, strategy was replaced by a get-rich-quick mentality that ‘the internet changes everything’ (which is true) into the hope that ‘all things done on the internet will prove lucrative’ (which was rubbish). There were egregious excesses and spectacular market capitalizations based on absurd or non-existent business models.

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Beyond Default explores both organizational and individual-level factors to build a holistic approach to change management in today’s volatile and unpredictable business environment.Michael Wade, Professor of Innovation and Strategy, IMD

Introduction

Have you ever wondered where your organization is headed? Have you ever asked yourself why some companies are more successful than others? Have you ever reflected on why once-great companies like Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), Lehman Brothers, Woolworths Group, Blockbuster, General Foods and Marconi no longer exist? Why companies like Xerox, Blackberry, Kodak, Royal Bank of Scotland and Yahoo are a shadow of their former selves, and others like Rolls-Royce, Hewlett-Packard, Anglo American, Standard Chartered Bank and Tesco are struggling to regain their once dominant position? And yet others, for example IBM, Apple, GE, Amazon, Walt Disney, BBVA, Jaguar Land Rover and Lenovo, continue to go from strength to strength.

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About the authors

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David Trafford


Helps executives and leadership teams deliver successful change, specifically technology-enabled change. After starting his career as an engineer, and spending five years as a Research Fellow, he moved into consulting some 30 years ago, and over the years has advised and supported numerous organizations in developing strategies and delivering change. Most recently his focus has been on organizations that aim either to create a truly digital business, or to make their existing business more digitally enabled. David is a co-founder and Managing Director of Formicio, an advisory firm that provides thought leadership and thought partnership on all aspects of assessing, developing and operationalizing strategy.



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Peter Boggis


Helping business executives gain the insights and capabilities needed to develop and operationalize strategy. Peter began his working career as a Chartered Accountant, before moving into management consulting in 1980 after relocating initially to Kenya and then South Africa. After returning to Europe in 1998, he led a series of major business reengineering programmes across a range of industries including financial services, manufacturing, mining, steel, chemicals and food, and other consumer products. Peter is a co-founder of Formicio, and is passionate about the power and role of language in helping organizations envisage a future beyond that of their default.


This thought-provoking book throws an interesting new light on what ‘strategy’ is all about.Sir George Cox
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