Gartner research has shown that a truly adaptive strategy approach is consistent with four core practices designed to move the enterprise from a rigid, top-down, calendar-based process to a more adaptive, event-driven strategy. “Enterprises that can spot new opportunities earlier and respond more quickly than their competitors are the ones most likely to succeed in the dynamic digital world,” says Ian Cox, Senior Director, Analyst, Gartner.
4 core practices
A truly adaptive approach to strategy will be based on all four core practices – but enterprises can initially focus on the ones that address their immediate strategy challenges. The practices outlined below aren’t intended to replace the enterprise’s existing strategy approach. They are meant to provide guidance on how to tailor or modify it for the digital world.
Create an adaptable business strategy using these core practices and building blocks to respond quickly to opportunities and risks.
- Execute as soon as possible: The longer it takes to create a strategy, the more likely it is that the plan will be outdated. Implementing promptly also helps to surface the plan’s flaws and identify where to improve. An adaptive strategy leverages existing knowledge to find the most immediate actions required to succeed.
- Respond to changes as they occur: Few enterprises nowadays can afford to wait a year to review strategy. A highly adaptable organization continuously monitors its business context, revising its strategy as new information emerges. An adaptive strategy’s vision can be long-term and bold, but it should be extended.
- Embrace and explore uncertainty: Businesses that embrace risk and react quickly to events will thrive in an unpredictable environment. An adaptive strategy in business helps them accomplish this and mitigate risk.
- Involve everyone in strategic planning: An adaptive approach is inclusive, engaging, and collaborative, unlike a top-down planning process. This increases the ability to create, revise, and execute strategy. It also boosts the output of a wide range of stakeholders.
Adaptive strategies only work if organizations can swiftly change their strategic goals. The company’s strategy may require changes in operational plans, finances, responsibilities, and team structures. Because adaptive strategy affects the whole business, firms will require an adaptive operating model.