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Strategy

according to
Henry Mintzberg
The Strategy Concept I :
Five P’s for Strategy,
California Management Review
Vol. XXX, No.1, Fall 1987

 Henry Mintzberg
– McGill University

“Strategy” can mean a
Plan
 Conscious, purposeful consideration in
advance of future actions.

Strategy => future actions

– Does that mean any plan is a strategy?
Planning Tools
 PEST Analysis ,
 SWOT Analysis
 Brainstorming
What makes a plan
“strategic”

 The time horizon it covers?

 Its purpose?

 The type of future actions it covers?

 The type of choices it implies?
“Strategy” can mean a
Ploy
 Short-term specific plan designed to
achieve a specific (usually competitive)
result

– For example, a negotiation strategy
Ploy by
 Mintzberg says that getting the better of
competitors,
– by plotting to disrupt,
– dissuade,
– discourage,
– or otherwise influence them.

Ploy tools
 Futures Wheel
 Impact Analysis
 Scenario Analysis
 Game Theory
“Strategy” can mean a
Pattern!
 Consistency whether intended or not in
a pattern of past actions!

Past actions => implicit strategy!
“Strategies are both plans for the future
and patterns from the past”
- Henry Mintzberg, Crafting Strategy
Harvard Business Review, July-August, 1987
Tools
USP Analysis
and
Core Competence Analysis
Planning and Realization
 Strategies as plans are not always
“realized”

 Realized strategies are not always the
result of a plan!
“Strategy” can mean a
Position
 Organization’s relationship to its
environment (markets and competitors)
– What an organization stands for, wants to
become, or just “is”

• Air India – India’s National Airline
• Amazon.com – the Internet-retailing portal
• Wal-Mart – the lowest price place to buy things
Tools
 PEST Analysis
 Porter's Diamond
 Porter's Five Forces
– to analyze your environment – these tools will
show where you have a strong position.
“Strategy” can be a
Perspective
 An organization-wide view of the
organization itself and how the world
around it works

– For example:
“The University of Delhi is a liberal arts institution.
Access and Excellence are compatible goals.”
Tools
 Cultural Web
 Deal and Kennedy's Cultural Model
 Congruence Model
Interrelating the Five “P’s”
 An emerging Pattern can be recognized,
and formalized into a Plan for the future
 Strategy as Plan or Pattern can lead to a
Strategy as Position and / or Perspective
 A sequence of Ploys can become a Pattern

 Perspective can constrain all the others
The Strategy Concept I I :
Another look at why
Organizations need Strategies
California Management Review
Vol. XXX, No.1, Fall 1987


 Henry Mintzberg
– McGill University

Organizations need Strategies
to Set Direction
 Strategy determines where an organization
is going …

– but shouldn’t become a straightjacket which
precludes interesting side trips!

Organizations need Strategies
to Focus Effort
and promote Coordination
 Strategy helps to get everybody “on the
same page” pulling together …

– but shouldn’t preclude individuals from
experimenting with new ideas!

Organizations need Strategies
to Define themselves
 Strategy helps to make an organization
comprehensible …

– but can something as complex as a (large)
organization really be well understood,
especially by those outside it?
Organizations need Strategies
to Provide Consistency
 Strategy helps an organization to make
sense of its environment, and protects it
against distraction so that it can get on
with what it has decided to do …

– which can be a bad thing if the environment
changes!
In summary..
Organizations need
Strategies..
 To set direction
 To focus effort and promote
coordination
 To define themselves
 To provide consistency

– but too much of strategy’s benefits
can be a bad thing!
Strategy according to
Henry Mintzberg
 What seems to be
the fundamental
purpose of an
organization in
this approach to
strategy?