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Strategy Dynamics Course - Class 8 – Policies and Decisions


This course is unavailable whilst it is being updated.

NOTE: The frameworks in this class can be applied on their own, as well as being used as part of a more complete business model.

Strategic decision-making covers a wide range of issues confronting management that need organizing, to see where they arise and how they are connected. A more or less chronological sequence for an enterprise is:

  1. Whether to start the business in the first place.
  2. Choosing a strategic "position" that may work (who to serve, with what, and how – also known as the "business model".
  3. Designing a likely path to success.
  4. Steering strategy through time.
  5. Whether to extend or revise the strategy.

Standard strategy methods are somewhat helpful for items 1, 2 and 5, but say little about the scale and timing of performance that may be possible, and nothing about implementation – how to continually manage the strategy with key decisions across all parts of the business, working well together, in every period, and adapted as conditions change. The principles in this class apply with little modification to strategic challenges in public services and voluntary organizations.

Key issues addressed

  • The different categories of decision that arise in different stages of strategy
  • Understanding "policy" as a rule or guideline for making a decision, often by changing a previous value of that decision
  • Recognizing that most decisions of strategic significance affect resource growth and retention
  • The interrelated issues of evaluating strategic opportunities, choosing between them, and designing a path that might deliver success
  • The critical importance of good policy to steer strategy as time passes
  • Designing policy that allows decisions to balance conflicting aims
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Other resources and links


Henry Mintzberg, Joseph Lampel, James Brian Quinn and Sumantra Ghoshal, 2002, The Strategy Process (4th edition), Prentice Hall; Hemel Hempstead, UK   Amazon UK   Amazon Canada

John Morecroft, Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics: A Feedback Systems Approach. Wiley, 2007   Amazon UK   Amazon Canada