An Integrated Approach to Strategy Innovation.

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95 EUROPEAN BUSINESS JOURNAL An integrated approach to strategy innovation Richard Schoenberg There have been some striking examples of strategy innovation in recent years – consider companies such as easyJet, Direct Line Insurance or the retailer Zara – and a growing body of academic literature has emerged on the topic. This article attempts to distil a number of the major insights offered to date, with the aim of providing executives with an integrated approach to strategy innovation. It includes techniques which can be used to reflect on novel strategic positionings for a given business or, more generally, to think about the opportunities for ‘changing the rules of the game’ within an industry. The article begins by looking at…show more content…
It is often assumed that industries will evolve in a steady incremental fashion. This is especially true in mature industries where there are entrenched competitors and established business models. However, consider the examples given above. In each case the industry could reasonably have been described as mature (airlines, insurance and fashion retailing), yet they have all been transformed in potentially unforeseen ways by firms that are relatively new entrants into the industry, such as easyJet and Zara. This provides a challenge to our industry forecasting abilities. If we had conducted traditional industry analyses back in the early 1980s, it is unlikely that we would have correctly forecast these companies and their business models as potential new entrants or competitors. The mindset with which we tend to conduct industry analyses, particularly in mature contexts, often makes the implicit assumption that historical trends will continue into the future; that the industry evolution will be linear. One reason we should be interested in strategy innovation, therefore, is to complement our traditional A second driver for strategy innovation lies at the firm level. An interesting feature of today’s business environment is that while some companies are pursuing innovative strategies that are redefining their
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