Strategy under uncertainty

This seminar will be led by Stephen Bungay, and is based on research he is currently conducting into this topic.

It is generally acknowledged that we live in an uncertain world, but uncertainty has always formed the background to strategy development.  Strategy is about gaining a competitive advantage.  It is therefore about shaping the future, which is unknown, and outwitting competitors, whose actions and reactions are also unknown (probably even to themselves).  In practice, we all too often ignore these fundamental facts and develop strategies as if we could work everything out in advance.

This seminar invites you to take a different approach by accounting for uncertainty from the outset.  We will start by developing a shared notion of what strategy is, and then look in turn at how you can create a flexible operating model which enables you to deal with the unexpected; how you can allow your strategy to evolve by structuring it into discrete steps; how you can adapt your strategy as you go; and finally how you can think of it in terms of manipulating the odds around a set of probabilities.

The seminar will introduce some concepts and approaches, but most of our time will be spent applying them.  The best way to do that is to see what difference they could make to our current practice, and so we would ask you to prepare by thinking about your own strategy and being prepared to apply the tools and methodologies we discuss to that.


09.30 What is strategy?
10.00 An Operating Model
11.00 Break
11.15 Evolving Strategy: the Strategic Staircase
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Adaptive Strategy: Honda and the three gaps
14.45 Three gaps exercise and debrief
15.30 Break
15.45 Probabilistic Strategy: introduction and exercise
16.45 Debrief and Wrap-up (close 17.30)