Strategy as Revolution

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Summary of Strategy as a Revolution
By: Hamel Gary
Harvard Business Review, Jul/ Aug96, Vol.74, Issue 4

1. What are the main issues addressed in the article?
Hamel's central thesis is that strategy development must be seen as a revolutionary action within an organization and goes onto list 10 attributes of such an action. His premise is that revolution is what is required in an age when incremental change is not enough to secure a position in the market place. Radical views are what are needed in order to find and establish new marketplaces. He uses examples such as The Body Shop, Ikea, and Dell. The attributes for strategy can be summarized as imagination, subversion and power to the people. Essentially these summarized the notion that strategy comes from across the business not the top...indeed the upper echelons are singularly ill placed to develop strategy when radical thinking is required as they are so invested in the status quo. The subversive element is to signify the need to question the norms, challenge the status quo. Hamel sees imagination as a key element to successful strategy development - one must be able to imagine different worlds, different futures and different pathways to really be able to radicalize thinking. Finally, Hamel argues that it is changing perspective that frequently is the catalyst for reconceptualization. It is the change that allows us to really question norms as the norms suddenly become clearer to identify when viewed from different perspective. 2. What are the strengths and weaknesses in the article?

This article convincingly argues that deep in every company there are strategy revolutionaries, and that every CEO needs to think more deeply about how to identify, organize and nurture these revolutionaries to become an integral part of their firms' strategic processes. However, it does not explain the need of identifying the skills. The three major identifiers are communication, facilitation, and corporate...
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