The idea of business strategy pretty much for granted today. Every business has, or should have, a strategy. Large companies have departments devoted to planning strategy and hours, even days are spent in meetings discussing it. Business schools have departments dedicated to researching and teaching strategy, and few undergraduate or MBA students escape without taking at least one course covering it. Strategy, like love, is all around us.
This poses an interesting question: What did business leaders and managers do in planning and direction before our own time? How did people make strategy before strategy was invented? One theory has it that there was no need for strategy before modern times. Businesses were tiny and served only their own village or community so they simply responded to local needs as these developed. There was little or no economic growth, so there were no challenges for businesses to respond to. They merely existed in a steady state. That theory falls down as soon as we start to look at the facts.
Innovation: Working with others to design systems that support innovation can be made more difficult if we do not have a shared understanding of what constitutes innovation. At the basic level innovation means the introduction of something new. It is a process, sometimes complex, with stages including surveying and identifying market opportunities, idea generation and selection, product/service development and implementation and marketing. Improving the chances of success at each stage may require a different approach to controls. t is also important to recognise the distinctions between sustaining innovations which improve existing products and services (sometimes incrementally and sometimes radically) and disruptive innovations which fundamentally change the market, downloading music digitally.