Strategy tools, courses & learning materials for individuals, universities and business
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FAQs for Strategy Professionals

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  • I am already well trained in strategy – why do I need another method?
  • There is widespread dissatisfaction with the tools and frameworks for strategy taught in business schools to both MBAs and executive audiences (see for example the Wikipedia entry on strategic management). Students don’t like the courses, recruiters don’t value what those students have learned, and executives don’t use its tools. Nothing has improved since a major McKinsey study reported in 2000.
  • How have these problems with strategy arisen?
  • There are two problems. First, the strategy tools most widely used and taught largely aim to answer the question of where a commercial organization should best 'position' itself vs. competitors in order to achieve sustained strong profitability. However, this choice is made only very rarely over an organization’s life – most successful firms identify a potentially strong position, then pursue it relentlessly. Secondly, established tools and frameworks mostly derive from efforts to understand how a firm can be more profitable than others. But investors value sustained growth in cash flows, which may or may not coincide with strong profit returns. The nature of strategy and strategic management is explored further here.
  • What does strategy dynamics offer that is really new?
  • It offers rigorous, rock-solid frameworks for understanding why an organization's performance is changing over time, and how to improve it. It therefore provides the foundation for professional strategic management, in contrast to the positioning question that has dominated strategy for 30 years. The underlying theory is explicit, unambiguous and rock-solid, and is therefore utterly reliable in all situations.

The textbook and supporting materials

  • What does the approach offer that is really new?
  • The main difference readers will see is that the book’s figures are full of time-charts and logical causal analysis, rather than 2-by-2 boxes, checklists or qualitative flow-charts. Time-charts show for example how profits are rising and falling over months or years, how customers are being won and lost, or how reputation is changing. The figures also show rigorous causal connections between these factors, e.g. how profit growth is slowing because the rate of customer losses is rising, or how falling reputation is preventing us winning customers.
  • Does the book provide tools I can apply, simply and reliably, to real-world situations?
  • Absolutely – in contrast to the qualitative, directional frameworks common in strategy, the book provides comprehensive and rigorous analysis methods, together with many worked examples to show how they apply. A key benefit of the book’s approach is that it highlights important information not commonly included in strategy analysis, and shows how to adapt existing spreadsheet-based thinking to take account of these factors.
  • Can you demonstrate the use of strategy dynamics?
  • Yes, we have a number of presentations available that demonstrate the approach. See our "Free materials" section
  • So does this book ignore existing strategy ideas?
  • Certainly not! It explains most of these in their own terms, and then shows how they connect with the mechanisms that make performance change.
  • Does it cover all the aspects of strategy?
  • No – the field is too extensive to achieve complete coverage in the first textbook of this type. It covers strategy issues for single-business firms and for business units. It also deals with many functional issues, e.g. in marketing and sales, human resources, and R&D. Corporate and international strategy will feature in the next edition.
  • Is it at all useful for non-commercial situations?
  • Definitely! Since most strategy frameworks originate from analysis of competitive commercial markets, their contribution to public-sector and voluntary organisations' strategy is limited. In contrast, the frameworks in this book are equally applicable to such cases, as examples included in the book demonstrate.
  • How am I going to learn to use the approach myself?
  • The basic principles are quite simple, so it is not essential to master all the details before making use of these to improve your work on strategy. The online courses are available at any time, as self-directed learning. If you are interested in taking courses with additional tutorial guidance Contact us to discuss your requirements.
  • What support is available?
  • Students on the online course can ask questions about course content by via a discussion facility. If you need support applying the approach to your own business then we also offer the Strategy Dynamics course with implementation guidance on applying the method to your own issues. Contact us to discuss your requirements.
Strategic Management
Kim Warren

Wiley 2008 Strategic Management Dynamics book cover
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