What is Emergent Strategy
Emergent strategy is a type of strategy that evolves and adapts over time in response to changing circumstances and new opportunities. It is characterized by flexibility, creativity, and a willingness to experiment and try new approaches.
Emergent strategy is often contrasted with planned strategy, which is a strategy that is developed in advance and followed consistently over time. Planned strategy is typically more rigid and prescriptive, and is based on a detailed plan that outlines specific goals and actions.
Emergent strategy is particularly useful in situations where the future is uncertain or unpredictable, and where it is difficult to plan ahead. It allows organizations to be more responsive to change and to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.
There are a number of key principles that are associated with emergent strategy:
- Focus on the long term: Emergent strategy is not about achieving short-term gains, but about building a sustainable competitive advantage over the long term.
- Be flexible: The emergent strategy requires organizations to be flexible and adaptable and to be able to change course as needed.
- Experiment and learn: Emergent strategy encourages organizations to experiment with new ideas and approaches, and to learn from their experiences.
- Foster a culture of innovation: The emergent strategy requires a culture that is open to new ideas and experimentation, and that encourages employees to take risks and try new things.
- Build strong relationships: Emergent strategy is often based on strong relationships with customers, partners, and other stakeholders, and on the ability to build trust and cooperation.
Overall, emergent strategy is a dynamic and flexible approach to strategy that allows organizations to adapt and evolve in response to changing circumstances and new opportunities. It is particularly useful in complex and uncertain environments and can help organizations to achieve long-term success.
Governing Emergent Strategy
- Establish clear guiding principles: While emergent strategy is flexible and adaptable, it is important to have clear guiding principles that provide direction and focus. These principles should be aligned with the organization's values and goals and should help to shape the overall direction of the strategy.
- Encourage open communication and collaboration: Emergent strategy is often based on strong relationships with customers, partners, and other stakeholders, and on the ability to build trust and cooperation. It is important to foster a culture of open communication and collaboration and to encourage employees to share ideas and collaborate on strategy development.
- Foster a culture of innovation: Emergent strategy requires a culture that is open to new ideas and experimentation, and that encourages employees to take risks and try new things. It is important to create an environment that supports innovation and experimentation and to provide resources and support for employees to develop and test new ideas.
- Monitor and evaluate progress: It is important to regularly monitor and evaluate the progress of emergent strategy, and to make adjustments as needed. This may involve gathering feedback from stakeholders, analyzing data and performance metrics, and conducting regular reviews of strategy and progress.
- Establish decision-making processes: While emergent strategy is flexible and adaptable, it is important to have clear decision-making processes in place to ensure that decisions are made in a timely and effective manner. This may involve establishing clear roles and responsibilities, setting up governance structures and committees, and establishing clear processes for reviewing and approving decisions.
Governing emergent strategy requires a combination of clear guiding principles, open communication and collaboration, a culture of innovation, and effective monitoring and evaluation processes. It is important to strike a balance between flexibility and structure and to create an environment that supports and encourages the development of emergent strategy.