The Inevitability of Emergent Strategy!

Figure1.jpgIn a corporate setting there are usually the three to five year plans, and we term the goal-setting and the charting of multi-year plans to achieve those goals as strategy. However as Mintzberg and Waters wrote in their classic paper in 1985, Strategies can be of different types:

Intended Strategy: This is basically the Strategy that the company initially planned & hoped for.This involves the Identification of goals and the formulation of plans to achieve those goals. This is expressed in a Strategy plan which covers the actions intended to be taken to achieve desired goals within a specific time frame

Realized Strategy: As things evolve in a dynamic business environment, Things change. As a result the actual Strategy that gets implemented is quite different from what was conceptualized and this is Realized Strategy.

Deliberate Strategy: Despite the change it is possible that Certain parts might have been unchanged, conceived to enable intended strategy.These Unchanged components are together called the Deliberate Strategy.

Unrealized Strategy: This is like a corollary to Deliberate Strategy where many components remain unrealized. This set of components together is called the unrealized strategy.

Emergent Strategy: As a result of changes of unforeseen circumstances or unforeseen threats Company does things that weren’t planned and emergent strategy comes in.

An Illustration:
David McConnell was working as a travelling salesman for New York book selling agency.
In the year 1880, he joined a Chicago firm, union publishing company and was placed in charge of selling books in southern states within his office in Atlanta, Georgia.
He decided to give little incentive to his customers,most of whom were women
He made a small bottle of perfume to be given away as gift. This didn’t encourage sales but something else happened.
1)Women were more interested in perfume than books.
2)They talked to other women about perfume they liked.

His intended Strategy of selling books was replaced by Emergent strategy(Selling perfume)He decided to start a perfume company and also began to give incentives to women for selling his product.

This gave rise to a new profession/phenomenon called Home maker cosmetics representative and a new company(now the 10 billion-dollar cosmetics giant)Avon was born.

Source: Nimble by Baba Prasad


Published by: rangathecreator

I am a common man with the power to communicate. I am ardent reader of books, a Technophile. a public speaker and last but not least movie buff. I have also been a passionate toastmaster for the past 5 years and have attained the highest level of DTM. When I get time I also review movies and books constructively on my Fb page "RangaReviews". I have created this page to share my thoughts on topics that interest me and I believe will benefit others too. I am of the strong opinion that communication is a two way process and it has to happen between the communicator & receiver as well. Feel free to drop in your suggestions and thanks for spending your valuable time to read my posts.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s