strategic management competency

You are here


A strategic management competency is the competency of a business organization to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage.

Elements and structure of a strategic management competency --
A 'competency' is made up of a discipline and a methodology to instill that discipline in an organization.

Strategic management discipline --
A strategic management discipline is developed from data, information, knowledge, and understanding. The developmental levels of the discipline corresponding with the levels of intelligence identified in the intelligence hierarchy. Research captures data and information. From this information, the strategic management body of knowledge is formed. The body of knowledge organizes and defines information according to the critical ideas, themes, and concepts. From the body of knowledge, assessment and experience builds understanding reflected in the strategic management framework -- a guide for both applying current knowledge as well as for integrating new knowledge in the future.

    Strategic management body of knowledge --
    Defining a competency begins with assembling and organizing information discovered in researching strategic management competency - including subjects such as competition, strategy, economics, systems science, complexity, thinking, decision making, leadership, management, etc. As the research goes on, key ideas, themes, and concepts emerge, i.e. patterns in the information. These patterns are folded back on the information itself, both to organize the information and as hypotheses to be tested for legitimacy, as further research is conducted.

    The body of knowledge approaches a useful degree of completeness as the patterns stabilize and as all information fits into one or more patterns. For example, identifying 'creative destruction' as a key characteristic of the economy calls for a strategic management process that drives the evolution of the firm to sustain competitive advantage, causing the firm to evolve as fast or faster than the economy. 'Complexity' is another example. The science of complexity finds that complex systems are inherently self-organizing. Strategic management must take this into account to fully tap the power of the organization in the business design.

    The body of knowledge is narrower, deeper, and more integrated than a dictionary or an encyclopedia. Though its basic organization is an alphabetized set of terms, beyond that, the similarity ends. The definitionsnew of the terms are made consistent with the themes identified and judged to be significant for a valid understanding of strategic management. The significance of the terms to management is explained, answering 'why business leaders should know this.' The explanations cover the application of the ideas to competency development. Links between the terms show the relationships between ideas and ideas that define themes and concepts. The body of knowledge is structured like a wikipedia, but has one editor and one specific mission, harmonizing the know-how for achieving and sustaining a competitive advantage for business organizations.

    Strategic management framework --
    The strategic management framework takes the level of intelligence from know-how to understanding why strategic management should be approached in a particular manner -- understanding the application of the key constructs, concepts, and themes.

    This framework reflects the axioms, principles, structure, and objectives that turn the body of knowledge into a body of understanding, answering the questions regarding why certain techniques and constructs are fit together. The framework is the highest level of expression of the strategic management discipline. It provides the basis for the strategic management methodology to transform a business organization - developing a stronger strategic management competency to produce a competitive advantage in order that the organization may endure.

    See strategic management framework.

Strategic management methodology --
The strategic management methodology applies the discipline to a particular business organization -- tailoring the discipline to develop a particular business organization's competency development. Judgment and context shape the approach for a particular business organization. The methodology deals with the transformation of the business organization to become more competent in producing and sustaining advantage. See strategic management methodology.

Strategic management competency described --
The strategic management framework combined with the methodology, describes the strategic management competency and how to approach its development. An organization competent in strategic management is describes as follows --

Business organization design --
A strategically competent business organization design has an inspiring purpose, a guiding light like that of BHAGs or strategic intent, novelty generation, an adaptable structure, taps into self-organizing forces, has configurable processes, dynamic capabilities, and is functionally flexible to adapt and produce new offerings. See business model and business design.

Strategic management process --
An effective strategic management process --

  • both optimizes and integrates diverse cognitive processes which generate wisdom, create the art of newly formed strategies, applies management science to align the organization to the objectives, and wages war to take the actions that execute the strategy,
  • harnesses the paradox of strategy exploration and exploitation to both form and execute strategy,
  • is performed in a disciplined and rigorous manner (see culture of discipline,
  • is self-correcting and self-developing, updating decision criteria based on expected vs. actual results, and
  • transforms the business organization in line with the strategy.
  • See strategic management process.

Organization member capabilities --
Organization member capabilities are developed on three levels --

  • leadership and management -- think of Collins' (2001) Level 5 leadership that builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical combination of personal humility plus professional will. In this category are the basics -- leading with courage, managing with discipline and rigor, proactively developing insight and intuition, learning, development, transforming the business organization, recognizing existing and new patterns, thinking in diverse ways - analytically, systematically, holistically, and strategically. See leadership and management.
  • innovation -- developing and applying creativity, generating novelty as a precursor to innovation, integrating entrepreneurial behavior into the organization, developing stronger and new capabilities, innovating management processes, the business concept, offerings, throughput processes, and technology. Novelty and innovation are triggered and guided by a guiding light such as strategic focus, strategic intent, vision, and BHAGs. See innovation.
  • business design -- the business design, or business architecture, homes in on the factors that can be defined and nurtured to bring about an organization that is self-evolving to continually produce a competitive advantage. Design elements include all aspects of the business model, including a guiding purpose to energize and inspire organization members, principles to guide behavior, enabling responsiveness in dynamic environments, modularity for ease of configuring new business solutions, and adaptability built into the organization, unleashing the self-organizing forces of complex systems. See business design.
  • See organization member capabilities.

Strategic management methodology --
The strategic management methodology is the method for embedding a strategic management competency a particular organization. The objective is a transformation brought about through a transformation process. The three stages of the methodology are --

  • Diagnose aspirations - define the ""end"", the next step on the journey
  • Stage experiences - to bring about the transformation
  • Follow-through - to sustain the transformation

See strategic management methodology for further information.