Who's taking care of strategy?

In a previous project, Designing the Corporate Strategy Function, we heard from many Heads of Strategy, that despite their job title, they played only a minor role in actually developing company strategy. So who’s taking care of strategy?

Not all large companies have a formal strategy planning process and where they do, it is often not what really drives changes in strategy. Some companies get by with an informal approach to strategy development, heavily dependent on the CEO’s intuition and past experience. But this may be risky.

This project will look, based on management interviews and observed long term corporate performance, at how large companies really do develop strategy and whether strategy development processes and organisation can be designed to increase the chances of a company’s sustained success.  It is a topic that was explored extensively in the 1980s – the Ansoff versus Mintzberg debates – but has since received much less attention.

We are taking a fresh look to see if we can come up with something new on this crucially important subject. The initial project output will be an article describing the strategy development landscape today and laying out some hypotheses about key success factors.