Tag Archives: Clayton Christensen

Change is THE strategic capability


Making change a strategic capability

I have been working on a capability model for change recently and then preparing to teach a course on strategy as part of a management qualification. Putting the two together brings me to a conclusion that the one thing an organisation has to be able to do to survive is to be good at change. Michael Porter points out that operational excellence is necessary to have a profitable business but not sufficient. A strategy is necessary to fit the business into its competitive framework. However, having a strategy is no good if you can’t execute it effectively.

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Its the activities that count

ChristensenHBRStrategic Change

The key to a successful strategic change is to change the things that matter to an organisation’s survival; and leave the things that don’t matter to operations.

In his seminal paper ‘What is strategy?‘ Michael Porter argues that effective operations is necessary for survival, but not sufficient.  Strategy is always needed. So I am going to argue that strategic change focusses on delivering the edge that enables a successful strategy to deliver not just survival but longevity. To achieve this a strategy must identify those activities that will make the difference for the organisation. Of all the things an organisation does only a few are critical to its survival and hence its strategy. It is strategic insight that identifies these activities.

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